Twitter Downvote Experiment Goes Live Globally On Web, Android And iOS, What You Should Know

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Downvotes is a feature many have considered omitted from some social media platforms. However, recently adding support for Web, iOS and Android, Twitter has been testing a downvote feature and it is now rolling that test out globally to testers.

While there are probably many who wish to see Twitter add an edit feature button, the popular microblogging platform is currently focused on testing downvotes. In a recent post by @TwitterSafety its team has stated that the test is focused primarily on how to surface the most relevant replies within Tweets. The same Tweet also mentions a rollout of this test globally, having previously only been available in the US. Twitter also said that users who opted to share their experience, that most often a reply was downvoted as either irrelevant, offensive, or both. Most users, according to its data gathering, have also pointed out that downvotes have improved the quality of conversation on the platform.

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Through the test, some people have expressed concern that their downvotes will be made public. However, the @TwitterSupport account actually outlined that downvotes will remain private. Much like YouTube deciding to hide the dislike count on videos, no one will be able to see who downvotes a post, or how many downvotes it received. Not long after originally announcing this experiment, which started in June 2021 on iOS for some users in the US only, Twitter Support made the following statements in a post.
  • “1. This is just a test for research”
  • “2. This is not a dislike button”
  • “3. Your downvotes are visible to you only.”
  • “4. Votes won’t change the order of replies.”
From what it looks like, based on its more recent statements, number four on their original list is actually on its way out. This can potentially make informational posts much more engaging. Reddit and many other platforms have had downvote systems for a long time, so it does stand to reason that Twitter receives similar functionality. This may also mean we start seeing conversations on Twitter similar to a Questions & Answer board. For example, if someone publicly asks a question, the most relevant reply would move to the top while downvotes get pushed down. Some users are still worried that trolls and bullies on the web will find ways to abuse this functionality. This is not unfounded, as many organized groups often do utilize social media functionality for these reasons, as well as for political gain.

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If you’re interested in participating, for now the only way to get enrolled in this experiment seems to be luck of the draw. Will this be a permanent change if they find the global test to be a success? We will have to wait and see.