The new voting system Twitter is testing could open the door for more negativity and toxicity to spread across the social media site, experts say.
Twitter currently is testing upvotes and downvotes on its iOS app for a select set of users. While the company says the test is being done to gather research, the possibility that the social media site soon could give users the ability to downvote content has many experts worried. While not all users take part in the negativity, over the past few years, Twitter has found itself under fire because of the toxic nature of some of its community members, a problem often seen on social media sites. Experts are concerned that downvotes would only strengthen the negativity and toxicity on the platform.
“This could be a way for Twitter users to better curate their Twitter feeds, but it’s hard not to question what unintended implications the feature may have,” Bridget Meyers, digital marketing manager at The Cyphers Agency, told Lifewire in an email. “Coordinated efforts to downvote a certain user or group could end up silencing them or removing their take from an important cultural conversation.”