World News

Twitter Expands Test of Downvote Feature Worldwide; Users Express Confusion and Concern

Twitter announced on Friday, that it has expanded the test of its new downvote feature worldwide. While it is not yet available to all, several users have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the measure.


The downvote button is aimed at taking action against replies that are deemed irrelevant to Twitter posts. While downvoting replies were first initiated in 2021, it is now being shown to a global audience.

“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. Downvotes aren’t public, but they’ll help inform us of the content people want to see,” read the tweet from Twitter support.

The downvote button is supposed to appear right next to Twitter’s heart-shaped ‘like’ button. It appears only in case of replies, and not original tweets.

The idea, according to the social media giant, is to understand the types of replies that users find relevant in a conversation, which would enable the platform to prioritise such replies over others. However, the number of downvotes are kept private from the owner of the post, the user whose reply has been downvoted, as well as the general public.

Users Debate Downvote Feature

After Twitter’s announcement of the global test run, multiple users took to the platform to express confusion, while some questioned the importance of the new feature and others asked why it was not applied to all tweets.

Users further noted that the position of the downvote button next to the like button posed a problem as it could lead to accidental downvoting.

Others remained unconvinced that the downvote feature would be of help and worried that it might instead be used to silence marginalised communities.


Similarities to Reddit and YouTube

Twitter is not the first social media platform to implement such a feature. Different forms of it exist on different platforms.

Some users pointed out the feature’s similarity to Reddit’s concept of upvote and downvote. However, while Reddit’s implementation is used to decide the popularity of a post, Twitter’s downvote option will only help highlight relevant replies, without impacting the posts themselves in any manner.

Recently, Google-owned YouTube announced a similar feature. It made the number of dislikes on a video private. While the dislike button remains, and a viewer can use it to tailor their own recommendations, only the creator of the video will have access to the dislike count. This was aimed at reducing dislike attacks, wherein creators (especially smaller ones) have experienced targeted attacks through unusually high numbers of dislikes on their content.

It remains to be seen if the downvote feature is made permanent on Twitter.


This was not the only new feature introduced by the microblogging platform this week. Twitter also rolled out test runs for a message icon on tweets that will enable users to reply directly to a tweet’s author from their timeline. It is currently available to select iOS users.

On Thursday, Twitter also announced that all web and Android users globally will be able to add warnings to photos and videos with sensitive content.