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It's been talked about for years but the powers that be at Twitter are finally testing a 'downvote' button on the platform.
When logging into Twitter this morning, you may have seen this new feature, which only works when replying to tweets. Users have the option to either 'upvote' or 'downvote' a tweet based on how much they like it.
This would enable Twitter to change what tweets it shows to you. The ones with the most upvotes will move to the top of your home screen, whilst the ones with the most 'downvotes' will sink to the bottom.
Twitter were quick to explain the new feature last night, with their official account emphasising how the system is private and would not expose poor replies.
It aims to improve the quality of tweets on the platform, in the hope that this will eradicate the issues of racism, trolling and misinformation, all of which should get the most 'downvotes'.
"In past research, we've learned which type of replies are best when reading conversations," tweeted Cody Elam, a user researcher at Twitter.
"They are those that are informative, supportive, positive and funny. But some of the best replies don't always surface quickly enough.
This (new feature) gives people the power to privately voice their opinion on the quality of replies without publicly shaming others while also giving us more nuanced feedback."
However, not all Twitter users will be able to see the new feature this morning. Only iOS users are part of the trial and they've all been selected at random.
Many users have tweeted their concerns about 'downvoting' this morning.
"I'm sorry, what is the downvote thing Twitter is adding?" one user said. "I don't want downvotes on my art thank you."
"Can we downvote the downvote feature already?" another snapped.
"Why is Twitter adding a downvote please?" one tweeted. "It's going to make me feel insecure with posting things- like the thought of seeing dislikes is scary."
Reddit, who have a similar feature on their site, also commented upon Twitter's trial, with their reply gaining more likes than Twitter's actual announcement.
This is not the first time Twitter have experimented with features other than likes and retweets.
Earlier this year, the platform investigated the idea of emoji reactions, similar to those you see on Facebook. It's understood that this concept is now in development.
So whilst upvotes and downvotes may not become a mainstay of Twitter in 2021, it's clear that the platform is changing.
Words: James Aldred
Featured Image Credit: PA
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