Twitter Adds Downvote Instead of Edit Feature Mystifying Users

Courtesy of Bart (Flickr CC0)

Despite pleas for an edit button, Twitter is rolling out a downvote reply feature to users on its website. Soon, they will offer the update to iOS and Android users. The idea is that over time, the algorithm would be able to figure out what types of replies interest the user. Ultimately, that user’s reply feed would be reduced.

The social media company reports they are expanding the test because they have learned so much about the types of replies users do not find interesting. Another mystifying point the Twitter team made was that the downvotes are internal, they will not be seen by users. That means a person can click the down arrow signaling they do not like a reply but the person who posted the comment will never know — only Twitter and the “downvoter” will know.

The company claims those who tested the feature agree it improves the quality of their interactions using the app. Twitter’s team is excited to see what others think about the new feature when it comes available to them, according to their posts.

Twitter users agree with Input’s assessment downvote arrow is really a “dislike” button. Below are some of their comments:

  • @YachiAbunai: “I don’t want or need your algorithms to decide anything for me. Instead please stop spammin’ my TL with tweets from people I don’t follow (someone liked something or someone follows someone) Also give us [the] EDIT button. Thank you.”
  • @Jen_S_Cook: “That’s nice. Do something about the transphobes.”
  • @thomasjmolina: “Where can I downvote this feature?”
  • @dingsextrem: “It’s very naïve to think ‘oh, great, folks will use that in a responsible way to grade restaurant tips.’ [Have] you ever imagined Twitter wars between bubbles to silence the others? Don’t ask yourselves what’s the best this option could do, but ask ‘how could this tool be used to [expletive].'”

One user wants to know who at Twitter thought it would be a good idea to put the downvote button in the same place where the like button was. Another commented on having to retrain her brain so she doe not hit the wrong button by mistake. Yet another Twitter user attached a tearful emoji and wrote “I’ve done it by accident so many times.”

Courtesy of Xiaobin Liu (Flickr CC0)

“Just give us an edit button already,” writes Andrew Paul for Input. Twitter keeps rolling out new features like Bitcoin integration, NFT profile pictures, Flock, and more but what everyone is begging for is the opportunity to fix the typo they did not see until after hitting the Tweet button.

In response to a complaint about Twitter being one of few social media companies that do not allow users to edit their posts once they have shared, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s former CEO said an edit function is “definitely needed.” That was back in 2016 and still no word on when users can expect the ability to edit their tweets.

Once Twitter is finished with the downvote rollout, whether they keep it or not, the company will move on the user requests like an edit button.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


INPUT: Twitter hears your pleas for an ‘Edit’ button, offers downvotes instead; by Andrew Paul
GSMArena: Twitter expands reply downvote test to global audience
USA Today: Twitter’s new downvote feature is nothing like Reddit, YouTube. Here’s why. By Sarah Sarder
9to5Mac: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey says support for tweet editing is needed, but implementation questions remain; by Chance Miller

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Bart’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Xiaobin Liu’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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