Tech

Twitter tests a downvote system, and the anti-like is finally here

Built-in burns.

Twitter wants your help spotting trash replies.

The social media giant announced Wednesday that it’s testing a new system for both upvoting and downvoting replies. According to Twitter, the goal is to help it identify what type of content users want to see.

“Some of you on iOS may see different options to up or down vote on replies,” explained Twitter. “We’re testing this to understand the types of replies you find relevant in a convo, so we can work on ways to show more of them.”

Notably, Twitter made it clear that this test doesn’t represent a new way to ratio people. For the blissfully unaware, getting ratioed is when a tweet gets far more replies (or quote tweets) than likes or retweets — thus demonstrating that people take issue with it.

“Your downvotes aren’t public,” said the company, “while your upvotes will be shown as likes.”

Twitter first teased the idea of a downvote system in November of 2020, but at the time the company insisted that it frequently explores new features and that often those features never launch for the broader user base.

Apparently, Twitter upvotes are one step closer to launching.

We reached out to Twitter to determine how many users are seeing this test, and if the test is limited to certain countries. We also asked if the company is concerned that a program designed to show people more (and presumably less) ill-defined types of content may fuel conspiracy theories regarding “shadow banning.”

SEE ALSO: Twitter ‘exploring’ adding a dislike button or downvote system

“Votes are not public and do not impact the ranking of replies,” replied a Twitter spokesperson. “In an experiment group the Like button is removed for Upvote, and in this case Upvotes count as Likes.”

When asked whether Twitter intends to eventually expand the test to include Android users, the spokesperson declined to speak to future plans.

“For now, we’re only testing this on iOS.”

Meanwhile, Reddit, which popularized the upvote system, chimed in with some thoughts of its own.

As did Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, who proudly claimed to be first person on the planet to be downvoted.

It’s a reply which got our upvote.

UPDATE: July 21, 2021, 1:01 p.m. PDT: This story was updated to include additional comment from Twitter with regard to whether or not the downvoting test will be made available to Android users.

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