Facebook is now testing its new “Downvote” button feature which is still avialable to a few public page posts.
According to Facebook’s spokesperson, the downvote button is being marketed as a feature for people to give feedback about comments on public page posts.
The button is said to have a simailrity to Reddit’s up and downvoting system and will allow users to ‘downvote’ content they find offensive, misleading or inappropriate, demoting it on their news feed.
However, Reddit’s downvote system focuses on giving unpopular posts less visibility on the site while Facebooks new feature affects your individual newsfeed, and there’s no public indicator of which posts receive downvotes. It’s effectively a way for you to censor the content on your own feed.
The button also provides a new way of flagging offensive content to Facebook, prompting further options to report the post for being ‘offensive,’ ‘misleading’ or ‘off topic’.
The downvote button has been in demand for a while now with many Facebook users requesting for a dislike feature to be added to the famous social network.
ALSO READ: Ugandan TV Channels Might Be Losing Flare
The question is, what criteria will Facebook use to consider a comment or post as inappropriate.
Tech-crunch reports Facebook is testing the button on 5% of Android users in the United States whose language is set to English and appears on public page posts, no longer on posts by using Groups, public figures or customers.
According to an analyst at CCS Insight, allowing users to censor their own feeds is a clever way for Facebook to sidestep the responsibility of making judgements about content. ‘Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want Facebook to have the responsibility of identifying what is offensive or misleading – and what is not – because that would put him into the position of being a publisher rather than a platform’.
As Facebook continues to test it’s new button, we can’t wait for it to hit across all devices around the globe.
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project.
He is a freelance consultant passionate about tech, programming, games and entertainment.