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Facebook testing 'downvote' option after calls for a 'dislike' button

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:18 AM

(Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Stephen Lam/Getty Images
(Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)(Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

While the option to have an “angry” or “sad” reaction to your Facebook friends’ posts is nice, what users have really wanted all this time is a simple “dislike” button — and it looks like the social media platform may finally be giving it to us.

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Facebook is currently testing a “downvote” button, effectively creating a counter to the classic “like” button and giving users the opportunity to dislike a friend’s post, according to reports. The test launched on Thursday with many users seeing the option to “downvote” in the comment section of posts.

>> RELATED: How to take back control of your News Feed after Facebook’s changes

The feature appears to give users the ability to downrank comments and could potentially lead to offensive or inflammatory content being pushed to the bottom of the feed, an interesting possibility given the social media giant has rejected requests for a dislike button in the past “on the grounds that it would sow too much negativity.” Perhaps they were on to something, however, as the downvoting system could also be utilized by users to abuse or bully each other. Either way, the option is sure to have a large effect on the discussions that take place on Facebook, and it’s something users have been asking for for years.

While it’s unclear how widely the dislike button is being tested, word of its existence didn’t take long to spread, and those familiar with similar systems of ranking on other platforms took note. Reddit, for example, has been implementing an upvote/downvote system since its inception.

“Sincerest form of flattery! Wish I’d trademarked it and ‘upvote’ when [I] came up with it,” Reddit co-founder and CEO Alexis Ohanian tweeted on Thursday.

>> RELATED: Authorities urge Facebook users to not share a viral video depicting a sickening crime

Facebook’s move comes just under two years after it extended the “like” button to include a variety of “reactions” to better reflect a user’s feelings on certain content.

“We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel,” the company said at the time. “That’s why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.”

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Parents remember son killed in car accident on the way to take his final exam

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 11:33 PM

(WSBTV.com)
(WSBTV.com)

The family of a high school senior from Floyd County, Georgia, is planning his funeral just days before they were planning to see him graduate.

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His family told WSB-TV they're overwhelmed by the support they've received.

Blue ribbons are everywhere near Model High School, even on the school itself, to honor Caleb Keller, 18.

"He was a very special kid," said his mother, April Helton. "He said, 'I'm going to make it, I'm going to walk across that stage,' and we are all just so excited."

But four days before graduation, the high school senior died in a two-car crash on the way to take his finals.

Floyd County authorities said Keller crashed his car into another truck at Mango Road and Wayside Road at around 10:30 a.m.

He died Tuesday morning.

His family said he was on his way to school to take his finals, but the road was wet.

"The road right there is a gravel road, and it had washed, and he just lost control," said his father, Clint Helton.

His family said the community has placed hundreds of blue ribbons for Keller all across the county, including some at his high school.

They are thankful and hopeful that Caleb's friends can still enjoy the graduation ceremony.

"We want this to be bright and happy for them because that's what Caleb would want," April said.

His parents want everyone to know through their pain and their heartbreak, they feel incredibly proud of their beloved son.

"Even though Caleb's not going to be there to walk with them, he's just as much a part, and he's there," April said.

The other driver involved was released from a hospital after the crash with minor injuries.

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N. Korea says it’s still willing to meet with Trump after sudden cancellation of summit

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 9:32 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 9:32 PM

President Trump Cancels Meeting With Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he is still willing to meet with President Donald Trump, after Trump abruptly canceled a summit Thursday, which was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

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"We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format," North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said in the statement, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

He also said the North was frustrated with the cancellation because they had been preparing for the meeting with Trump.

"Despite all of this, the U.S.' unilateral decision to scrap the talks causes us to reconsider whether all of the efforts and the path we have taken is really the right one or not," he said in the statement.

Yonhap also reported that Kim said the sudden cancellation of the summit next month underscores the urgent need for a meeting between Trump and Kim

In canceling the summit, Trump also left open the possibility that the meeting could be rescheduled

(Previous story)

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he remains open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hours after he canceled their planned summit in Singapore in a letter released by White House officials. 

“I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world,” Trump said Thursday at a news conference. “I hope that Kim Jong Un will ultimately do what is right not only for himself, but perhaps most importantly what is right for his people, who are suffering greatly and needlessly.”

He added that “our military ... is ready,” should North Korean officials respond to Thursday’s cancellation with a show of force. Japanese and South Korean officials have also vowed to respond if “foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea,” Trump said.

 

Still, the president didn’t rule out the possibility of meeting with Kim.

“A lot of things can happen, including the fact that, perhaps, it’s possible the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date,” Trump said. “Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.”

The president wrote in his letter to Kim that his decision to cancel the planned June 12 meeting came “based on the tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in a recent statement from North Korea.

>> From Jamie Dupree: President Trump scraps summit meeting with Kim Jong Un

In the statement, the North Korean government referred to Vice President Mike Pence as a "political dummy" and said it is just as ready to meet in a nuclear confrontation as at the negotiating table.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

Senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui told North Korea’s state-run news agency on Thursday that, “Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States,” The Associated Press reported.

>> Reports: North Korea demolishes nuclear test site

Trump responded to the comment in his letter Thursday, telling Kim that, “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.”

The letter was released just hours after reports surfaced that North Korea had demolished a nuclear test site in the country's northeast region. The closing of the testing site had been announced as a step leading up to the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, the Associated Press reported.

Trump earlier this month announced that a historic meeting between him and Kim would take place in Singapore in June.

 

Read the full letter released Thursday by White House officials:

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Letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un by National Content Desk on Scribd

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Check back for updates to this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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SeaWorld, Busch Gardens: Free admission available for veterans now through July 4

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 10:51 PM

(Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)
Matt Stroshane/Getty Images
(Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)(Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

From now through July 4, U.S. veterans and up to three guests can get free admission to SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay as well as other SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment properties across the U.S.

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SeaWorld said in a news release that this new offer joins the ongoing Waves of Honor program that offers complimentary admission to any U.S. active duty military, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman once per year, for the military personnel and as many as three direct dependents.

Veterans must redeem their complimentary single-day ticket(s) online at www.WavesofHonor.com. The free tickets are available online only, not available at the front gate for each park.

In addition to SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the free admission offer is available at SeaWorld San Antonio, SeaWorld San Diego, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Active military and veterans can always receive discounted admission tickets through MWR and ITT offices on U.S. military bases as well as www.WavesofHonor.com. These offers are available year-round. Each park may have various discounted admission products throughout the year that are also available online at www.WavesofHonor.com

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Rottweiler dies in hot car at county jail, woman visitor arrested on the spot 

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 10:45 PM

Connie Wright Gomez, 46, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Her dog, Rambo, was found dead in her car Wednesday afternoon. The dog had allegedly been left in the car for five hours. (Photo by Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office)
Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office
Connie Wright Gomez, 46, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Her dog, Rambo, was found dead in her car Wednesday afternoon. The dog had allegedly been left in the car for five hours. (Photo by Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office)(Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office)

A Georgia woman left her Rottweiler in her car for five hours while she was in court at the Gwinnett County Jail, causing the dog’s death, sheriff officials said.

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Connie Wright Gomez, 46, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Gomez went to the jail as a “court visitor” around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, leaving her dog, Rambo, in her car, she told deputies. She left the windows open about an inch.

Around 6:30 p.m., deputies heard Gomez mention she had left her dog in the car. One of the deputies went with Gomez to the car to check on the dog because the weather had been warm all day, with a high temperature of 82 degrees. When they arrived at the car, Rambo was dead.

Related: Dog dies after being left in Animal Control officer’s truck

When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gomez was arrested and booked into jail. She is being held on a $16,700 bond.

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway expressed dismay at the case.

Conway started the Operation Second Chance “jail dogs” program, which matches jail inmates with adoptable dogs and cats. The inmates train and socialize the animals. 

“I hope this poor dog’s horrific death reminds pet owners to make responsible choices for their pets,” Conway said. 

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