by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s been the talk of legend for many years – ever since the dawn of Facebook in 2004, the social network has been plagued with requests for there to be an alternative to the standard ‘likes’ that you can give various posts that appear on your news and friend feeds. Since the early days of Facebook, ‘reactions’ have been brought in as an attempt to offer a broader scope of activity beyond liking, sharing and commenting – you can react with a ‘love’, a ‘wow’, a ‘haha’ or with an ‘angry’ – but still, it seems, there is no ‘dislike’ button in sight. That is, however, until now – in a fashion, anyway.
Reports state that Facebook has been testing ‘upvote’ and ‘downvote’ technology via Android outside the US – a system which operates in a similar fashion to Reddit’s landmark post and comment-grading – which will, it seems, allow comments to be flagged as appropriate or inappropriate. You’ll still be able to react with the same buttons – as always – but comments will come with scoring to ensure that readers can ascertain how helpful or entertaining a particular post is. You can, of course, always flag a post or comment on Facebook and have it reviewed by the relevant team – who will be able to look into your comments or complaints and therefore take further action if necessary.
Watch: ▶ Facebook Testing Downvote Button
The system is, according to official line, an opportunity for people to flag comments and posts which may be considered unhelpful or inappropriate for a given conversation. This means that, in a way, the network is becoming more aware of the sorts of posts that can arise – and, in a further fashion, it is taking measured steps to help users help themselves. This doesn’t mean, however, that the fabled dislike button is anywhere near to being brought into fruition – a shame, but this system will at least offer us the chance to grade posts and engage with what we believe to be useful or otherwise not so helpful.
News regarding both this forthcoming grading system and Facebook’s foray into the online dating scene come shortly after an arduous few months for the firm and its users – as there are questions continuing to be asked with regard to data sharing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Quite where Facebook will go from here, it’s not so clear – but a change is always as good as a rest.