Ella Ingram | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 16 September 2015

We\\\\\\\'ve Got Mixed Feelings About Facebook\\\\\\\'s New \\\\\\\'Dislike\\\\\\\' Button

We've Got Mixed Feelings About Facebook's New 'Dislike' Button

The Debrief: Say goodbye to the ironic, cruel and Inappropriate like Facebook are launching a new 'dislike' button

Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg hosted a Q&A at Facebook headquarters where he announced a pretty big change coming to Facebook, one that has split the websites users to ‘likers’ and ‘dislikers’ – lol.

Guessed what it is yet? One maybe not so coincidentally timed question at the Q&A asked 'why don’t we have other options like “I’m Sorry”, “Interesting”, or “Dislike”?'

Mark responded by saying 'today is a special day, it’s the day I get to say we’re working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it.'

‘It’ being the worst Facebook news ever, they’re finally developing a ‘dislike’ button. 

So, why has it taken so long to develop?

During the Q&A, Mark said, 'It took us a while to get here. We didn’t wanna just build a dislike button, we don’t wanna turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts, that doesn’t seem like the kind of community we wanna make.'

We hear you Mark, we hear you. The thought of every selfie or status being subject to a single ‘dislike’ never mind more ‘dislikes’ than ‘likes’ is enough to scare you into not posting anything at all. 

What is the ‘dislike’ button for?

Seen as Mark wants to avoid it becoming a negative button abused by trolls and bullies, what does he want the button to be used for? Empathy apparently. 

Mark said 'people aren’t looking for the ability to down vote other people’s posts, what they really want is the ability to express empathy.

'Not every moment is a good moment, if you’re sharing something that’s sad it may not feel comfortable to like that post, but friends wanna express they understand and relate to you, so I do think it’s important to give people more options than a ‘like’ as a quick way to emote and share their feelings on a post.'

What will it look like?

So how is Mark going to keep the new button as a kind and empathetic button instead of being associated with negativity, trolls and bullies?

We don't know yet, but maybe similar to the Facebook 'like' stickers holding either a heart, flowers or look even like a hug.

Is it a good idea?

During the Q&A, Mark gave the example of awkwardly ‘liking’ a Facebook post about current events such as the refugee crisis and how the new ‘dislike’ button would remove this awkwardness and instead show your empathy and understanding of the situation. 

But is that really a good thing? It may restore your faith in humanity seeing that hundreds or possibly (and hopefully) thousands of people have ‘disliked’ this tragic event is happening but it doesn’t actually do anything positive IRL does it? 

In fact, the new ‘dislike’ button just gives people a bigger excuse to do nothing at all except ‘dislike’ one person’s post, whereas a charity and donating button would do something useful, positive and be a much more rewarding addition to Facebook.

How can Facebook control how it’s used?

If the new button is a hug or strongly associated with ‘empathy’ as Mark wants then this shouldn’t be a big problem, but if it’s the assumed thumbs down button how can Mark and Facebook really assume that they can control how it’s used?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion and once the new ‘dislike’ button launches people can stop ironically liking status’ they hate and instead show their cutthroat honest side, disliking everything they hate about you and your Facebook profile. Wonderful.  

When will it appear on our Facebook pages?

Apparently Facebook have been 'working on this for a while and it’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that you want to be that simple, but we have an idea that we think we’re gonna be ready to test soon and depending on how that does we’ll role it out more broadly.'

You can watch the full clip of the ‘dislike’ button question and answer here:


Like this (lol)? Then you might also be interested in...

A Guide To All The Types Of Likes You've Done On Facebook

Here's What The Internet Would Look Like If Websites Were Real People

What Your Favourite Websites Looked Like In The Noughties

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyThornhill_

Tags: Facebook et al