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Twitter Tries to Optimize Downvotes by Letting Users Select a Reason

The standard way for users to interact with a social media post during the initial rise of this industry was twofold: they could either comment on a post or give it a sign of appreciation such as a Like or a Favorite. This soon changed into a much more diverse way of interacting, with Facebook giving users multiple new reactions. One social media platform that forged a different path was Reddit, with its upvote and downvote feature being one of the most iconic aspects of its user interface.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Twitter has been trying to implement something similar too because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up giving the conversations that occur on its platform a bit more nuance. Twitter has been experimenting with an improved version of downvote button that users can use to interact with a comment left in the reply thread of a tweet, and it is now trying to get some data from this feature.

The micro blogging platform will now allow users to give a reason for downvoting a particular reply. These reasons include disagreement, misleading information, irrelevance or offensiveness with all things having been considered and taken into account. Twitter claims that it will not be providing this data to the author of the tweet. This coupled with the specific reasons that users can select from suggests that Twitter will be using this to harvest data that it can then use to optimize its algorithm and rank comments and replies accordingly.

The quantity of replies that Tweets can get are quite massive, and users previously did not have a way of responding to a comment that they disagreed with or didn’t like other than replying to it which provided it even more engagement thereby boosting its relevance in the algorithm. This new method might change that, and if users provide accurate reasoning Twitter could leverage this data to vastly improve the user experience and see some stronger rates of growth in the future.


H/T: Chris Messina

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