Facebook 'Downvote' Button Is In Testing But It's Probably Not What You Hoped For

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Facebook users have been asking for a way to downvote things they don't like on the social network for years now and it finally looks like the social network is taking steps to allow that to happen. The new feature is a downvote button that lives right underneath comments made on posts on the network that falls in line between the reply and thumbs up counter on the comments.

The new feature began to appear on Thursday and as of now, only a few Facebook users are said to have access to it. However, the feature is available on any comment that is made on a public page post. However, those who are thinking the Facebook downvote option functions like the feature of the same name on reddit would be wrong.

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On reddit, a downvote pushes questionable content further down the page. Facebook's downvote feature simply flags content as inappropriate or offensive. Previously, there was a method for hiding inappropriate content on your page by clicking the "..." next to the comment and then clicking "Hide comment".

The new downvote option makes it much easier to flag inappropriate content with a simple click. Once the downvote button is pressed, the comment is automatically hidden from view and the users is asked why they downvoted the comment. There are four possible reasons offered for the user to choose from after downvoting including offensive, misleading, off topic, and other. An undo option is also there to stop a downvote.

Facebook also wants people to know this isn’t a "dislike" button. Facebook said in a statement, "We are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts."

It's not clear at this point if Facebook will make this a permanent feature and roll it out across the entire network for all comments. Facebook has been trying to change the way it handles news and make the network a better place with more communication among friends and less divisive content. Facebook is also allowing users to vote on if they trust news sources or not in an effort to weed out fake news.