facebook likes

A Thumbs Down on Facebook’s Test on Downvoting Comments

Facebook has always kept their environment as healthy and positive as possible. While this may not be mostly in their control, they do everything they have in their power to maintain that within their platform.
For example, when people heard rumors about a dislike button, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quick to respond that they’re not going to do so to keep Facebook a positive place for content and discussion.
But maybe, some minds were meant to change; including Zuckerberg’s.
Recently, some Facebook users noticed a ‘downvote’ button on comments. According to Facebook, they’re doing a little test on how users would respond and use the button, and how it would affect comments of a certain post.
Is this move necessary? Is Facebook going to the right direction? Would this still somehow keep the platform positive? We weigh in with some of the pros and cons.

Some ‘Thumbs Up’…

We understand why Facebook wants to put this feature up.
For one, this can lessen SPAM, off topic, and purely offensive comments on posts. Just imagine all the unnecessary comments that you could downvote and, hopefully, get rid of.
Moving forward, this feature can help get rid of fake news and accounts of people. Gone will be the long process of reporting a person who is pretending to be someone, or reporting a page for spreading hate and violence.
Admit it, there’s no surefire way to have a page or account taken down. Sometimes, reporting wouldn’t help at all.

Some ‘Thumbs Down’…

The ‘downvote’ button now seems like the counterpart of the ‘like’ button. And so, the danger of adding this feature is that it would turn out as the battle of binaries.
While downvoting a comment might seem helpful to somehow rid spammy comments, but this might end up like a huge mess in the comments section.
Imagine this: you downvote a comment because it is obviously offensive. The person saw that you downvoted their comment; they payback with a downvote to your quality comment. And so on.
Sure, Facebook can monitor this. But can it with billions of users around the world?
We’re not cynical about this. This is also a needed feature because – of course – we need to somehow get rid of spam, offensive, and off-topic comments.
Hopefully, their tests would show positive results inclined to their vision for the ‘downvote’ button. More tests, too, are needed.

Our verdict.

We’re not totally against it. Here in Rocket Social, we also aim for a positive and fair treatment of people in social media. After all, users are all humans.
Maybe, as we mentioned a while ago, more tests should be done to see if the button would really serve its purpose.
Our only fear is – and the reason for a thumbs down – is this might lead a ‘dislike’ button; something that Zuckerberg said Facebook will never have. But downvoting just feel like disliking and it still does have a negative ring to it.
Only time – and the tests – could tell if Facebook is indeed taking us in the right direction.