AFRICAN AMERICAN (T) | Facebook tests 'dislike' button for comments

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Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Johannesburg – For years Facebook users have campaigned for a “dislike” button on the social network. Now the closest button to it might be coming soon… But for comments only. 

Screenshots have been circulating on social media of Facebook allegedly testing a “downvote” button for comments. 

However, Facebook told technology news website, The Verge, that “it’s only intended to be a method for flagging questionable comments on public posts”.

The button reportedly works when a user taps it and will then ask them if they found the content of the comment misleading or offensive. 

Only a small group of users in the US are testing it and if successful, the feature may be rolled out to all Facebook users. 

In response to user feedback and requests for a “dislike” button, Facebook launched a set of emojis called Reactions to comments and posts in 2016.

Facebook also confirmed to The Verge that the button would not be a feature to dislike comments or posts. 

When Facebook announced Reactions in 2016, YouGov Omnibus, an international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, conducted a survey about the new icons.   

Research showed that most Facebook users (64%) approved of the likely change with 25% strongly approving of the new icons. 

“Facebook users aged 30 to 44 are the happiest about the change with 73% of them approving of the new icons, while those under 30 or over the age of 65 are the least happy about the change (58%),” YouGov Omnibus said. 

“Given the choice between a simple dislike button and the new Reactions, most would prefer the dislike button.  38% of Facebook users favour a dislike button compared to 30% who are happy with the new emojis,” YouGov Omnibus added. 

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