Facebook is testing a “downvote” button. Source: BBC

Facebook could release a “downvote” button on its platform. On Thursday, the social media giant started testing the button on a small set of users. A statement released by Facebook acknowledged that indeed the feature has been deployed for testing. However, the company says that only 5% of Android users are part of this test. Facebook also added that the “downvote” button at the moment is only available to users in the US and the aim is to try to see whether certain comments on public posts are appropriate or inappropriate.

The “downvote” button is not new as a concept. This button has been offered on other social media platforms such as Twitter and even YouTube. Reddit also has a “downvote” button. The purpose of the button is to give users of social media sites the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with comments or posts they deem inappropriate for any reason. As part of standard practice, posts that get too many downvotes don’t get too much visibility.

The button won’t have any effect on the comments. Source: CNBC

However, Facebook is taking a different approach. The company says that the feature will not have any effect on the comments. In addition to this, Facebook says that there are no immediate plans to roll out the button to all users. It seems that this is simply an experiment, and Facebook only wants to see how users perceive various posts on its platform.

The feature is simply a feedback mechanism. This sentiment was also confirmed by a Facebook’s spokesman who didn’t want to be named. The spokesman says that the downvote button is not a dislike button and it’s not going to have any effect on the comments. It’s simply a way for users to give the company feedback on the kind of content they are interacting with.

For those who have managed to interact with the new feature, it’s actually very simple. Since Facebook is using this feature primarily for feedback, when users downvote a comment, they are given the option to indicate why they did so. For example, if you find that a comment is not good, you can downvote it and say that it was misleading or offensive.

It seems like the downvote button is part of Facebook’s plan to remove fake news from its platform. Source: BBC

Recently, Facebook announced that it will be using the feedback from its users to remove fake news and misinformation on its platform. In this strategy, users will provide suggestions on news outlets that they think are trustworthy and those that they feel don’t report factual information. It seems that the downvote feature is part of the plan to enroll users into this program.

Facebook has been accused by political players and other stakeholders in the US for not doing enough to curb the spread of fake news and misinformation on its platform. Whether the downvote button will play a part in making this right remains to be seen.

However, it’s not the first time that the company has toyed with the idea of introducing a downvote button. Back in 2015, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook was working on a downvote feature. The Design Chief at the company Julie Zhuo had also heard that users had expressed discontent with the fact that only the like button was available.