Screenshots surfaced on social media today that appear to show Facebook is testing a downvote button.
Taylor Lorenz, a tech culture reporter at the Daily Beast, tweeted two screenshots that appeared to show the option to downvote available on a comment stream.
Then, more screenshots followed.
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News it is not testing a dislike button: "We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts. This is running for a small set of people in the US only.”
At least for now, the downvoting option is a short-term test that doesn't actually affect the ranking of a comment in the same way downvoting works on sites such as Reddit.
The test is currently occurring for only a very small amount of Android users and features exclusively on public page posts.
The possible introduction of a downvote button could represent one of the ways the social media giant aims to combat the sharing of fake news, which has been a huge issue since the 2016 presidential election.
For those of you hoping the changes might see the platform finally introduce a literal "dislike button", well, you're shit outta luck. However, "downvote" is a much softer, more approachable phrasing that could essentially do the same thing.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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