Facebook has begun rolling out a feature called “downvote” that lets users register a negative reaction to comments on the social networking platform but it is not the “dislike” button users have long desired.
Clicking the “downvote” button hides the comment for the user who taps it, then asks the user to say whether the comment was “offensive”, “misleading”, or “off topic”.
Facebook confirmed the test in February this year.
“Now, it appears the feature is rolling out to a greater number of users. The Reddit-style ‘downvote’ button aims to improve the quality of discourse on the platform,” The Next Web reported on Monday.
A “dislike” button has been on many users’ wishlist since the social media giant introduced its “like” button in February 2009.
Facebook’s “like” button allows users to express their approval for the messages, photos and other content their friends posted.
The social networking giant is also literally sizing down the doubtful stories to prevent the triumph of falsehood on its platform.
As part of its new strategy to combat fake news, Facebook wants its users to miss these stories at the time of scrolling their News Feed, while not withdrawing them altogether so as to walk a fine line “between censorship and sensibility”.
When an article is verified as inaccurate by the social network’s third-party fact-checkers, Facebook will shrink the size of the link post in the News Feed, TechCrunch reported.
“We reduce the visual prominence of feed stories that are fact-checked false,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Facebook is also now using machine learning to look at newly published articles and scan them for signs of falsehood. IANS
The European Union’s consumer protection chief said Thursday she’s growing impatient with Facebook’s efforts to improve transparency with users about their data, warning it could face sanctions for not complying.
EU Consumer Commissioner Vera Jourova turned up the pressure on the social media giant, saying she wants the company to update its terms of service and expects to see its proposed changes by mid-October so they can take effect in December.
“I will not hide that I am becoming rather impatient because we have been in dialogue with Facebook almost two years and I really want to see, not the progress — it’s not enough for me — but I want to see the results,” Jourova said.
The EU wants Facebook to give users more information about how their data is used and how it works with third party makers of apps, games and quizzes.
“If we do not see the progress the sanctions will have to come,” she said. She didn’t specify punishment, saying they would be applied by individual countries. “I was quite clear we cannot negotiate forever, we just want to see the result.”
The EU has been pressing the U.S. tech company to look at what changes it needs to make to better protect consumers and this year Facebook has had to adapt to new EU data protection rules. The concerns took on greater urgency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal erupted, in which data on 87 million Facebook users was allegedly improperly harvested.
Jourova said she hopes Facebook will take more responsibility for its nearly 380 million European users.
“We want Facebook to be absolutely clear to its users about how their service operates and makes money,” she said.
Facebook said it has already updated its terms of service in May to incorporate changes recommended at that point by EU authorities.
The company said it “will continue our close cooperation to understand any further concerns and make appropriate updates.”
Jourova also said U.S.-based property rental site Airbnb has agreed to clarify its pricing system in response to complaints that it could mislead consumers.
Airbnb has promised to be fully transparent by either including extra fees in the total price for a booking quoted on its website or notifying users that they might apply, she said.
The company is complying with EU demands spurred by concerns that consumers could be confused by its complicated pricing structure, which could add unexpected costs such as cleaning charges at the end of a holiday.
Airbnb is also changing its terms of service to make it clear that travelers can sue their host if they suffer personal harm or other damages. That’s in response to complaints that its booking system can leave tourists stranded if the rental is canceled when all other arrangements have been already made.