A reaction button is any button widget which is intended to allow users of an application to provide immediate feedback through a selected automated response.
An example of a reaction button is the joint "mod-up/down" button, which is used as a means of moderation. When a comment or post by one user is voted upward, it indicates some degree of pleasure or agreement by other users with a user's comment; if a comment is the highest-voted, this may result in the comment being featured at the top of a comment section as a "top comment". In comparison, a down-rate by one user indicates displeasure or disagreement with a user's comment or post; a threshold of downvotes, often -5, results in the comment or post being "buried", or automatically hidden from the view of other users unless said users wish to click "Show comment".
The mod-down button, allowing other users to down-rate a submission for various reasons, has been criticized as "user-driven censorship" on the basis of disagreement. As a result, multiple blog comment systems simply provide the ability to up-rate a comment or reply comment, disallowing downward moderation.
The mod-up/down buttons were promoted in the 2000s by Digg (where it became known as "Digg-up"/"digg-down" buttons) and Reddit (with the moderation having repercussions for appearances of posts on the front pages of such sites), with numerous other websites, including YouTube, following after with implementations of upward-downward moderation of comments; in 2010, YouTube also implemented the Mod-up/down buttons for indication of sentiment toward videos, even though no repercussions exist for the downward rating of videos on the site.
In comparison to mod-up/down buttons, pre-written word buttons provide a list of words which users can award to a post or comment, often with numerical indicators of how many times any single word has been selected by users. BuzzFeed incorporated "Badges" which allow users to award word buttons such as "LOL", "Eww", "Old", "WTF", "TRASHY", "GEEKY", "CUTE", etc. to a post or comment; like hashtags, the buttons are linked to pages indexing the most recent posts or comments to receive such designations. Blogger and The Huffington Post have also incorporated word-based reaction buttons as user features, and YouTube tested such word-based reaction buttons in 2011.
A benefit to such an arrangement is that users can select and submit a short-form "reaction" rather than type out and submit the same.
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