Facebook has been spotted testing the ability for users to upvote and downvote comments.
This test appears to be limited to the Android app, which is common when tests like these are spotted in the wild.
Joe Youngblood shared an example on Twitter:
Just spotted Facebook upvote /downvote arrows for comments. Inside Android app. pic.twitter.com/8M8nd4zf3v
— Joe Youngblood (@YoungbloodJoe) April 18, 2019
Facebook is taking a page out of Reddit’s playbook, who lets its community moderate itself to a certain extent with upvote and downvote buttons.
That’s the intention behind Facebook’s upvotes and downvotes as well, according to the message that appears at the top:
“Support comments that are thoughtful and demote ones that are uncivil or irrelevant.”
What puzzles me about this screenshot is that the comment with zero upvotes is placed above the comment with two upvotes.
On other platforms, a comment with the most upvotes is sent to the top, since it’s an indication that users think the comment is valuable to the conversation.
Conversely, downvoted comments are sent to the bottom. But that’s not what’s happening in this instance.
Then again, it’s just a test at this point, so maybe Facebook is still working on that functionality.
This is certainly a more diplomatic solution to moderating comments, as opposed to outright deleting them. Although I’ll hazard a guess that Facebook will still let pages delete comments if they wish.
Upvote and downvote buttons can also help pages that get so many comments they don’t have time to read each one. Users can do the work for them by demoting “uncivil or irrelevant” comments.
This feature has the potential to greatly improve the quality of pages’ comment sections. Time will tell if it ends up rolling out publicly.