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Twitter is testing a way to dislike replies

The social network says the tool could help the company understand what replies people find more valuable.

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- 01:06
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Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

Twitter said Wednesday it's testing a way to up- or down-vote replies as part of an effort to understand what remarks users find more relevant. 

In a tweet posted by Twitter Support, the company said that some iPhone users might see this option. Downvotes won't be public but upvotes will appear as likes on a tweet. 

"This gives people the power to privately voice their opinion on the quality of replies without publicly shaming others while also giving us more nuanced feedback," Cody Elam, a user researcher at Twitter, said in a thread of tweets

Twitter users who spotted the new icons tweeted out images of what the new tool looks like, a thumbs-up and a thumbs-down button. 

The company didn't say how many people are part of the test but a spokeswoman said it was part of a "small research experiment."

Giving users a way to down vote posts they dislike has been seen as a way to potentially bring some civility to social media. TV star and tech investor Ashton Kutcher recently told CNET's Roger Cheng that adding dislike buttons could help cut down on hateful comments on social media. 

A Twitter spokeswoman said the votes on a reply wouldn't impact how replies are ranked, but the company is looking at how the up- and down-voting matches up to what the company suggests are the most relevant replies.