After testing with a small group of people, Twitter is set to roll out the Reply Downvote button on its platform, for everyone.
This comes after the platform said receiving a positive response from the audience, who said this feature helps in improving the quality of conversations on Twitter. But critics on the other hand also warned that this may affect marginalized people, whose voice may not be shown up if it’s with maximum downvotes.
Reply Downvote on Twitter
To make conversations better on its platform, Twitter started testing a reply downvote option with a small group of people in July last year. As it claims to receive positive feedback from the community, it now decided to expand it to everyone.
We learned a lot about the types of replies you don't find relevant and we're expanding this test –– more of you on web and soon iOS and Android will have the option to use reply downvoting.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 3, 2022
As announced today, Twitter users will soon see a downvote button on the replies of each tweet made by someone. And if they feel useless or irrelevant that reply is, they can hit on downvote to discourage it from appearing important.
While Twitter didn’t say that it’ll thrust the unworthy tweets down to the list, its algorithms may do so, similar to Reddit’s downvote button. In its note, Twitter said
“We are still in the learning stage of this experiment and are looking to gain a better understanding of how Reply Downvoting could help us better surface the most relevant content for people on Twitter in the future.”
Testers earlier have said that this downvote option has improved the conversations on Twitter, making the company pursue this for everyone. Twitter also said there will be an upvote button appearing on tweet replies too, but for iOS users. And said, “Your downvotes aren’t public, while your upvotes will be shown as likes.”
While it’s good to see someone voting for good and productive content, experts warn that marginalized people may get suppressed in this way, if the authoritative people get more downvotes to stamp someone.