Facebook to test the ‘down vote’ to tackle fake news and abusive comments

The test is currently confined to a small number of people in the US


Facebook is testing a new downvote' that will allow users to hide comments and provide feedback regarding them.

The social network giant confirmed the news to TechCrunch but insisted this feature would not be the dislike' button that has been widely requested.

The feature will work by hiding selected comments and then flagging the post as either offensive', misleading' or off-putting'.

The downvote' will be part of a package of measures designed at improving the Facebook community.

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The company said: "We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts."

Facebook confirmed that this test would be confined initially to a small set of people in the US.

Social media sites have recently faced a storm of criticism for their lax approach in dealing with abusive or misinforming content that have been flagged up. Twitter in particular, has been much criticised for failing to deal with this.

Facebook has often acknowledged its complicity with active steps taken to ensure that the spread of fake news a contributing factor in swaying the 2016 US presidential election and cyber bullying will not be tolerated.

The company also announced it was doubling the number of engineers it employs in London to pioneer solutions for the issues the company faces.

"Whether it's scamming, bullying, harassment or false news, they will work with experts to understand the issue, identify the pattern and build a solution," said Facebook's Chris Cox.

Though refusing to divulge how many additional engineers were being hired, Facebook regarded the move as necessary to "remove bad content from the platform".

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