Earlier this year, Facebook confirmed it was trialling Reddit-style upvote and downvote buttons on public posts, with the aim of improving the quality of discourse on the platform. Now, it appears the feature is rolling out to a greater number of users.
Hmmmm. Not sure I like the Upvote and Downvote feature of Facebook. Time will tell I guess. pic.twitter.com/hxvjW7HaTX
— BEN SLATER 🌀 (@iambenslater) April 29, 2018
Upvote and downvote comments on Facebook, when did this happen? pic.twitter.com/q9F7OcJ4R3
— Carter (@cwsbbb) April 29, 2018
ok seriously facebook comments having an upvote/downvote system now is hurting my brain
— emily (@emilytrbll) April 29, 2018
With its downvote button, Facebook is putting a lot of faith into its users. It wants people to use it to flag what Facebook calls “bad comments,” which it defines as having “bad intentions or is disrespectful.” It’s making great pains to emphasize that this isn’t a dislike button. That said, it’ll almost certainly be used that way.
You really can’t fault Facebook’s optimism though. It’s launching this feature when most people are intimately familiar with Reddit, where a downvote is frequently used as a signifier for disagreement and dislike.
Facebook will struggle to change that mindset, especially when the upvote button works identically to Reddit, and is used to highlight comments that are “helpful or insightful.”
Facebook, except it's basically Reddit pic.twitter.com/kMpss61gjR
— ⚡️ Owen (@ow) April 29, 2018
This feature isn’t rolling out to every user. From what I can tell from Twitter, the majority of people who’ve gained access to the new upvote and downvote system are based in Australia and New Zealand.
We’ve reached out to Facebook to ask about their plans for its new Reddit-style comment feedback system, particularly as they relate to its roll-out. We will update this post if we hear back.