Vote Wars: Facebook to Add ‘Upvote’ and ‘Downvote’ Comment System

Mark Zuckerberg is seen at the Facebook developer conference in 2010, at a time of rapid growth of the social network
AFP

Taking a page from Reddit’s book, Facebook reportedly has plans to introduce a new voting system on comments across the platform including both upvotes and downvotes.

Facebook is beginning to roll out a new “upvote” and “downvote” comment voting system in New Zealand and Australia, according to the Guardian. The new voting system will display a vote count beside user comments — exactly as popular website Reddit does — which will indicate how many upvotes and downvotes a comment has received. A spokesman told the Guardian: “Facebook is a place for free expression, but we also recognise that there should be a way for people tell us and each other which comments are most thoughtful and useful. To that end, we’re running a test that introduces an upvote and downvote action for comments on large public page posts.”

When a user with access to the trial places their mouse cursor over a public comment on Facebook, a small box appears which reads “support better comments,” and provides a tutorial on how to give a comment an “upvote.” The box states “Press the comment up if you think the comment is helpful or insightful.” Another box titled “stop bad comments” explains how users should deal with comments they dislike. “Press the down button if a comment has bad intentions or is disrespectful. It’s still ok to disagree in a respectful way,” the instructions read.

A screenshot of the rating system can be seen below:

It would seem that this is an effort by Facebook to further expand the moderation of content on their platform by having users bring attention to content they don’t like. Facebook was criticised by the Myanmar civil society organizations last month for failure to police “hate speech” on their platform, Facebook commented on the issue saying: “We should have been faster and are working hard to improve our technology and tools to detect and prevent abusive, hateful or false content.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com 

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