Twitter testing Reddit-inspired downvote option globally, more users get feature
After introducing a Reddit-inspired downvoting test for tweet replies in July, Twitter is rolling out the feature to more people globally as part of its attempts to get nuanced feedback on conversations. The option comes with a message that it's not "public or visible to the author," implying Twitter will use it for research and probably check how the conversations are received. Here's more.
For now, downvotes won't be used to regulate conversations. Twitter, currently, isn't changing the placement of tweets, which have been downvoted many times, to make them less visible. Reddit, on the other hand, ranks replies based on upvotes and downvotes. As per Twitter's User Researcher, Cody Elam, the option will provide insights into how voting can be used in the future for enhancing conversations.
Twitter is also experimenting with different styles of implementing the feature. In one experiment, both upvote and downvote arrow buttons are placed below the tweet reply. In another, these are replaced with thumbs up and thumbs down buttons. The current tests reportedly involve only downvotes in the form of arrows. However, the like button can be said to be acting like an upvote button.
Facebook was also experimenting with dislikes but later introduced emoji reactions conveying a variety of emotions like sad, happy, and surprised, among others. Twitter has been inspired by Reddit, but it doesn't encourage mass downvoting because that may trigger mental health problems. The feature has already raised fears of further choking dissenting opinions. However, it is also expected to check trolls and abusive tweets.
I’m not sure how I feel about Twitter testing downvoting for replies. Twitter is one step closer to turning into Reddit 🙃 pic.twitter.com/jeW0NL40kp— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) October 13, 2021
In another attempt to promote meaningful conversations, Twitter started testing anti-abuse heads-up prompts for potentially intense conversations, this month. This feature will help people steer clear of heated conversations. Another targeted feature is supposed to display prompts for users typing in harmful messages, even before they hit "Reply." Recently, Twitter also rolled out a "soft-blocking" feature for removing followers without letting them know.