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Facebook Tests Downvote Button to Hide Offensive Content

Feature would hide ”inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading“ comments

Facebook is testing a downvote button — not to be confused with a dislike button — on comments that rub people the wrong way.

The social network confirmed the test to TechCrunch, saying it’s being initially tested on comments on public Pages. Downvoting will hide comments that are “inappropriate, uncivil, or misleading,” and also provide extra reporting tags like “offensive,” “misleading,” and “off topic.” Facebook made it clear it’s not a dislike button, though — something many users have been calling for for years.

“We are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “This is running for a small set of people in the U.S. only.”

Five percent of Android users in the States have the test running. The downvote isn’t featured on personal pages or the pages of public figures, and there is no timeline for its rollout.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said he wants to promote more “meaningful interactions” on the social network, and has said the News Feed will shift to promoting less viral video and more posts from family and friends. Downvoting offensive comments might lead to more user engagement, but could start another conversation about censorship on the platform.