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See what this means, below…

Image Credit: Twitter

Twitter Support’s handle took to social media recently to announce, “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. Twitter initially launched its downvote test back in July, on iOS only, which many users saw as a ‘dislike’ option for tweet replies. Which Twitter says it isn’t, exactly. We’re hoping to better understand what people believe are relevant replies, and how that matches up to what Twitter suggests as most the relevant replies under a Tweet.”

Social Media expert, Andrew Hutchinson says that eventually he can imagine some will see this as Twitter’s own form of ‘shadow-banning’, with their replies getting less exposure and engagement as a result of downvotes. But then again, it would also be very difficult for the tweet author to see how the process has impacted their comment, as they wouldn’t necessarily be able to view how it’s ranked in the overall reply chain.

The downvotes also aren’t on general tweets, just replies, which does reduce the overall impact. But Twitter could still look to incorporate what it learns from the test for its overall tweet ranking algorithm, which could impact general tweets also.

It’s an interesting test, and it is interesting to consider the Reddit model as a template of sorts for this, with Twitter even colouring its downvote button in Reddit orange.

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