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Photography MORAN, via Unsplash

Does anyone actually want a Twitter dislike button?

A spokesperson for the social media platform has confirmed that the feature is ‘something we’re exploring’

Over the last few years, social media users have been calling for a ‘dislike’ button on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Rumours of the feature emerge almost yearly, though the update never materialises. Now, Twitter has sparked excitement again by revealing that it’s considering introducing the capacity to ‘dislike’ or ‘downvote’ tweets.

Responding to a critique of the platform by Jackie Singh, a cybersecurity expert for the Joe Biden campaign, Twitter’s product lead, Kayvon Beykpour, said a ‘dislike’ feature “is something we’re exploring”.

Beykpour didn’t reveal any more info, meaning we don’t know when it might arrive, or even if it definitely will – though the prospect of it is enough to get Twitter users talking. “Apparently Twitter is experimenting with adding a dislike button,” one user tweeted. “Stan wars are going to be an absolute nightmare.”

Another joked: “I don’t want Twitter to add a dislike button. I like the site’s atmosphere of positivity and support.”

Some have expressed their dismay at the prospect of the feature, which they say will only heighten anxiety on the app. One user said: “If Twitter really comes out with a dislike button, I WILL cry if any one of you bitches dislikes my art posts. My art is good and I will fight you even if I’m crying.”

The Blindboy Podcast tweeted, “No, no, no. This is a website where we compete to have the best complaint, and being aggressively combative is rewarded with serotonin hits. More negativity is not the answer. Let people dislike in silence”, before adding, “I don’t need a load of dislikes on my bad takes. I want to be either ignored or passive-aggressively subtweeted. This is the system that works”.

The rumour of a ‘dislike’ button comes as Twitter launches its Fleets feature, which enables users to post tweets that disappear after 24 hours – much like Stories on Instagram or Snapchat. Users can share text, photos, and videos which will live at the top of people’s timelines and on the sender’s profile, before disappearing after a day.

“Some of you tell us that tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there’s so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes,” Twitter’s design director, Joshua Harris, and product manager, Sam Haveson, wrote in a blog post. “Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings.”

Some users have criticised the feature, which reportedly allows unwanted direct messages and enables people to tag others who have blocked them. As reported by The Guardian, Twitter says it’s still working on the feature and is listening to any concerns raised.