Facebook is testing a downvote button

Facebook illustration

As part of its continuing effort to clean up its platform and its reputation, Facebook has started testing an experimental downvote option.

The new tool isn't a thumbs-down button for 'disliking' a particular post. Instead it's intended to improve the quality of comments on public posts by letting users downvote anything offensive, misleading or off-topic.

A Facebook representative confirmed to the Verge that the downvote link is currently being tested among a small selection of US-based users who began sharing screen grabs on Twitter yesterday.

Facebook added emoji reactions to Messenger last year, including a thumbs-down reaction not available in Facebook itself, but there seem to be no plans to let users actively 'dislike' posts in their news feed.

Can't we all get along?

It's been a busy time for Facebook, which came under close scrutiny after revealing that over 470 fake accounts and pages had paid for ads designed to rile up readers by spreading divisive messages.

After the revelation, CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to crack down on hate speech and abuse on the site, dedicating his new year's resolution to "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent".

As part of this move, Facebook is experimenting with settings that put more emphasis on local sources in users' news feeds.

"Many people told me they thought that if we could turn down the temperature on the more divisive issues and instead focus on concrete local issues, then we'd all make more progress together," he said.

Via The Verge