Twitter has been working on a way to enable users to downvote tweets, while not making them public, since early 2020, however the company is expanding the feature to more users across the world, not just in US.
Downvoting was also confined to web users, but this wider testing of the feature will also apply to some iOS and Android users, where you may start to see a downward-facing arrow on some tweets.
This won't hide the tweet or let the tweeter, or your followers, know that you've downvoted. This is more for Twitter to help refine its algorithm in helping you find better curated tweets. However, users aren't convinced.
A 'hide tweet' option instead?
If you use Reddit (opens in new tab), you'll see the downvote button everywhere. It's a major part of the site's design, as it shows other users how well the post has been responded to by others.
But Twitter has gone down another avenue here, where the downvotes are seemingly just for the company to help improve its service, which seems over-engineered.
We've been testing how we can surface the most relevant replies within Tweets with the use of downvoting on replies. As we're expanding the experiment to a global audience, we want to share a little about what we have learned thus far!👇 https://t.co/wM0CpwRgo6February 3, 2022
Other companies such as YouTube has changed how it displays dislikes (opens in new tab), with the option remaining, but the number of dislikes being hidden, and that has also proved controversial so far. The co-founder of YouTube, Jawed Karim, spoke of his frustrations (opens in new tab) in how the platform may decline after this change.
But with Twitter, it feels as though it's a feature that doesn't need to exist. While the company explains that it's to help the content you see, there's still the bigger problem of harassment and bullying that many users have been subjected to.
Showcasing a downvote button for Twitter's algorithm is backward, and instead, there should be other features, and beefed-up existing ones to help curb the harassment.
A 'I don't like this tweet' would be beneficial, alongside more streamlined ways to report abuse on the platform. Having a downvote button that benefits Twitter, not the user may be something that will urge the company to put the feature on pause for now, and to see how it can better serve users, rather than the algorithm.
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