Facebook users have been demanding this for years: a dislike button.
According to a report from the Daily Beast, the social media platform is finally testing something similar: a "downvote" button. On Thursday afternoon, some users started noticing the option show up under comments on Facebook groups and memories.
In theory, this would allow users to vote certain comments down, so they would appear lower in the feed—similar to current systems in place on sites like Reddit. If used appropriately, this could reduce the visibility of harassment and other unpleasant comments.
Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has long been hesitant of a dislike feature, explaining in 2015: "That doesn't seem like the kind of community that we want to create: You don't want to go through the process of sharing some moment that was important to you in your day and have someone 'downvote.'"
In the summer of 2015, Facebook did say they were working on a dislike option, but ended up deciding against it "on the grounds that it would sow too much negativity." Instead, they rolled out an updated version of the "like" button to include "love," "haha," "wow," "sad," and "angry," as part of its reactions update.
Facebook has yet to respond to these reports, and there is a good chance that this test will only be rolled out to a select group of users and never be implemented as a permanent function of the site. It is interesting to see the company consider this option in the light of Zuckerberg's promise to "fix" Facebook in 2018.
"The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do—whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent," Zuckerberg wrote. "My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues."