FACEBOOK CONFIRMS TEST OF A DOWNVOTE BUTTON FOR FLAGGING COMMENTS
Background: After Facebook updated their mission last year and all the scrutiny around dispersing fake news, the social media giant has rolled out a test of a downvote button as a way of flagging comments that may be deemed inappropriate or misleading. This is another element – a way of peer-to-peer monitoring – in which the motivation is to provide a way for users to provide signals for inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading comments.
- Facebook is adamant this is NOT a “dislike” button
- This is a short term test, affecting a very small group of people (5% of Facebook users on Android devices in the U.S.)
- The downvote action currently does not affect ranking for comments, the post, or the profile page. The test is not about giving feedback to the commenter, it’s about giving feedback to Facebook at this time
- The button applies strictly to comments on a post, not downvoting the post itself
- Currently, this only applies to public page posts, nothing around sponsored posts yet
Impact: Facebook is really good at testing things out on small scale to perfect before rolling out to their broad user base. As such, there’s no way of telling when this update will become available to the masses, but if their test goes well we can anticipate this becoming more mainstream.
It’s possible that this could eventually impact paid sponsored posts, however Facebook ads already go through a review before being approved whereas a public page post gives the author unlimited freedom to publish whatever they want. If this does come around to sponsored posts, implementation of the downvote shouldn’t change much in terms of strategy as undesired ads today already receive a low relevancy score which has negative impacts on performance, but this effect could be somewhat amplified from the potential long-term rollout.