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X Looking To Add Downvote Button To Posts Like Reddit


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X, formerly Twitter, is considering reintroducing a downvote feature for posts, according to recent findings in its iOS app code. This feature, reminiscent of Reddit’s voting system, was previously tested in 2021 before Elon Musk acquired the social network. Initially, Twitter experimented with both upvoting and downvoting buttons, and now X is revisiting the concept with a focus on downvoting replies to potentially improve their ranking within threads.

The discovery of code references suggesting the addition of downvotes was made by reverse engineer Aaron Perris, known as @aaronp613 on X, who frequently identifies new app features before their official launch. Perris revealed that these code references were unearthed in the latest iOS app update.

However, finding references to a feature in app code doesn’t confirm its public release. Social media platforms often test features internally before deciding on their implementation. Despite this, senior staff machine learning engineer Jay Baxter from X, who works on Community Notes, hinted at the potential benefits of leveraging negative signals to improve content ranking. Baxter highlighted X’s approach of only downranking posts receiving negative ratings from dissenting users, akin to X’s Community Notes feature, which avoids fostering a “hivemind” by using private ratings initially.

Elon Musk himself contributed to the discussion with a brief comment, affirming the discussion about implementing downvotes.

X’s potential reintroduction of downvotes aims to refine how replies are organized in lengthy discussions, potentially highlighting more insightful responses. This approach aligns with efforts seen in X’s Community Notes feature and could influence similar initiatives across social media platforms, such as YouTube’s testing of a comparable feature called Notes.

In addition to exploring downvotes, X may also overhaul its user interface by defaulting to a gesture-based menu to access engagement buttons like “Like” and “Repost,” as shown in recent interface prototypes shared by Perris.

As X continues to innovate and adapt its features, the reintroduction of downvotes could represent a significant shift in how interactions are moderated and ranked on the platform, potentially enhancing user engagement and content quality assessment.

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