After Social Media decided to get rid of the dislike button, Twitter has finally taken the bold step and allowed the global testing of the thumbs downvote button for tweets. This allows people to downvote replies on Twitter. This global expansion of testing was announced on Thursday, 3rd February 2022. Saying that the initial tests allowed the Company to learn a lot, Twitter is now expanding the testing to everyone on the web, iOS, and Android platforms.
The tests run by the platform have showcased that people only click the down arrow when they find a reply offensive, or not relevant, or perhaps both. While testing this feature, Twitter focused on improving the quality of conversations that went about on the platform.
This dislike button, much like the dislike buttons on other social media platforms is not a public metric. In fact, this is not even visible to the author of the original post. The point of disliking is to pull on any popularly offensive or irrelevant tweet replies. Twitter, by employing this feature, is working on understanding popular opinion and improving its service.
Downvoting was something that was released to some iOS users earlier last year. In July 2021, Twitter introduced the option as an experimental feature to shows the relevancy of any input into any conversation. Twitter’s aim by introducing the downvoting technique has always been to understand popular opinion.
So far, it seems as if downvoting has become the new way for people to flag content that they find unimportant or offensive. Because this experience has only been available to select iOS users so far, introducing the feature to a wider audience allows for a greater expansion. If the results of this feature continue to be positive, the downvote may become a permanent feature on the Social Media platform. Downvoting may become a part of the algorithm and become more user-appealing by adding layers of intricacy in the system.
There has been an opposite side of the debate as well, for some people have expressed their concern that downvoting could be used to curb the voices of the oppressed. By downvoting a tweet or a reply, the population may work on mouthing any dissenting views and opinions. Since political dissent has become a powerful tool and social media platforms provide a platform for people to interact and speak about the same, it is important to keep this discourse in mind.
So far, Youtube and Facebook have taken preventive measures about the “dislike” button. Youtube has started hiding the counts of dislike on a video to protect their content creators and also limit the harassment they face. Facebook too has worked on adding a dislike button but instead decided on a range of emojis with varied reactions, which has been pretty popular in the past.
As Twitter moved to open its new feature to the general public, new results and comments are ready to pour in and change the tide. Downvoting could either become a permanent feature or be removed.