Like…or dislike? The possibility of Facebook adding downvoting — the opposite of “liking” — for posts and comments on its network has tickled the fancy of many users. It could be great for getting rid of those pesky fake news posts, but it could also be used for trolling and it could turn Facebook into something more similar to Reddit, which is not everyone’s cup of tea.
The rumors aren’t entirely unfounded: Facebook tested the feature for a small group of users earlier this year, and now it appears to be rolling it out to more users, primarily in Australia and New Zealand.
The feature comes with an important caveat, as it appears users aren’t able to downvote (or dislike, if you will) Facebook posts — only comments.
Users are already able to react with different emoji to posts and comments, ranging from happy to sad to angry, but downvoting is a step further, especially when there’s a number that shows how many people have downvoted a piece of content.
The new “feature” was noted by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who just said he was “flattered” (Ohanian also commented on the first round of testing in February, calling it the “sincerest form of flattery”).
On Reddit, the ability to vote up or down is an extremely important part of the service, as it lets users democratically choose which posts and comments they like and which they don’t. But while Reddit is primarily about news and stories or topics of interest to the community, Facebook is more about connecting with your friends, family and co-workers, so the ability to dislike/downvote a post or a comment would likely have a different impact.
The last time Facebook tested this, it insisted it was not a dislike button. “We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts,” the company told Mashable in February.
We’ve reached out to Facebook again and will update this post when we know more.