Karen Belz
February 09, 2018 8:49 am

Back in 2009 when Facebook rolled out “likes,” fans of the social media app had one question — where’s the dislike button? Now, almost 10 years later, the company is considering a “downvote” function — but it’s not in the way you’re probably thinking. The site is hoping a downvote feature will actually lead to more overall positivity.

The company is trying to provide a way for users to quickly report abusive or offensive material that hits their feed. According to PC, the feature debuted on Thursday, February 8th, allowing a few select users access to the function.

Basically, while Facebook is using the term “downvote,” it’s not to be confused with the way the term is used on, say, a platform like Reddit, where downvoting pushes a comment further down the page if site visitors don’t find it interesting or relevant.

You can imagine how someone would see the word “downvote” and assume it’s similar to a “dislike.” But PC stated that Facebook was clear their downvote is simply a way to report abusive statuses and statements in a more efficient way.

"We are not testing a dislike button," the company said, according to PC. "We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts."

The feature may also help organize your feed in a more effective way. If something offensive is posted, people are often quick to comment or use expressions to show their displeasure. But because any sort of interaction with the status makes it seem “popular,” it’s more likely to be viewed by more people.

We applaud any effort to make the internet a more positive place. But Facebook — you might want to think about changing the name before you roll the feature out to more users.

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