At one point, the option for a "dislike" button on Facebook was oft-discussed. This was what feels like eons ago, before Facebook offered us "reactions" as a solution to the fact that we want to show our support of certain statuses with more emotions than simply a "like." And yes, back before Twitter switched from the "favorite" icon (a star) to a heart icon, meaning you liked, or perhaps even loved, what someone tweeted. But did you know that Twitter has subtly been offering its users a "dislike" button for months, without most of us noticing?
Mashable reports that the "dislike" option appears on some tweets, in the drop down menu that appears when you click on the upper-right-hand arrow of a tweet:
But, the strange thing is that the option doesn't appear all the time. Mashable writer Lance Ulonoff explains his experience with the "I don't like this tweet" option, which has been available since late 2016:
"There hasn’t been a lot of conversation about it because Twitter hides their negative option quite well and it does not appear consistently. Of a dozen or more tweets I looked at, I saw “I don’t like this tweet” only a few times. (Twitter wouldn't elaborate on how often or under what conditions the option appears.)"
Twitter's support page further explains the feature's use:
"When you mark a Tweet as I don't like this Tweet, it helps Twitter better understand the types of Tweets that you'd like to see less of in your Home timeline. We may use this information to optimize and tailor your experience in the future. You can access this option from the icon in a Tweet."
Though that doesn't explain why this doesn't appear with every tweet. Perhaps Twitter has algorithms for pre-determining whether something contains language that might be offensive to some. Or perhaps a tweet has to reach a certain level of "virality" before the option appears? Or maybe Twitter just thinks we're not ready for this type of power. After all, disliking a tweet can have a long-lasting effect on what appears in your newsfeed. Besides, do we really need new ways to express our outrage?