It seems like people have been demanding a “Dislike” button on Facebook for quite some time. With so many posts to be seen on arguably the largest social media network in the world, it’s easy to see why people would like a way to quickly express their disagreement toward particular types of content. Is it possible, though, that the aforementioned dislike button is closer than we think?
This past Tuesday, during a Q&A on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg (CEO of Facebook) announced a feature similar to a “Dislike” button is on the way. He said that Facebook is currently working on it, stating that, “… People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years.” However, Zuckerberg also said that responses other than “Like” would be brought to the forefront, since he didn’t want Facebook to become a tense community. Users will be able to “express empathy” for posts they may not feel comfortable liking, such as a tragic news story or a loss in one’s family.
Zuckerberg made it a point to say that this feature is still in the working stages, being tested out before it’s rolled out to a wider audience. For such a new feature like this – as far as Facebook is concerned, at least – it’s the best plan. One of the reasons why many people like Facebook is that it’s impossible to outright “Dislike” a post, unless a user takes the time to express their thoughts in a comment. One could argue that a “Dislike” button will not be conducive to this social network’s feature, meaning that testing is crucial.
However, I’m the opinion that there’s enough of a demand for a “Dislike” button to warrant its existence. Consider Reddit, and how it allows posts to be upvoted and downvoted alike. If a user’s content is intelligent, entertaining, or generally meaningful, it’ll be uploaded. Those who post meaningless or outright offensive content are likely to be downloaded until it’s no longer easily shown. Since Facebook’s system won’t be nearly as confrontational, if Zuckerberg’s words are worth going by, it’s safe to assume that it won’t alienate the user base.
Facebook has the proposed goal of “connecting the world,” and while it’s a noble one to reach, it cannot be easily done if “Like” is the only response users can give. Needless to say, humans are far more complex than that. They might agree with the subject matter of a news story, but feel uncomfortable liking it for one reason or another. What if another form of subject matter simply makes them angry? Even though the eventual result probably won’t be the standard “Dislike” button everyone expects, it’ll safe to assume it’ll draw attention all the same.
What is your take on Facebook’s announcement of a “Dislike” button? Do you feel like it’s the right move for the company to make? Please leave your thoughts below!
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