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Facebook is up to something new, and you are not going to “Like” it: a Dislike button is in the works

Facebook is up to something new, and you are not going to “Like” it: a Dislike button is in the works

by AshwinSeptember 16, 2015

Well that was my subtle way, of conveying what the new feature from the social network website is going to be.


Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has announced that the network is going to add a “Dislike” button soon. It’s about time they did this, right?

The Dislike button has been requested by users for a very long time, perhaps from as early as Facebook began. But the company has been turning a deaf ear on the request. Have you ever wondered why?

Well, the main reason is probably because it could be misused by groups, and there is also the bigger problem in that it could cause some arguments, the kind of which exist on a very open network, yes I’m looking at Reddit. While there are a plethora of subreddits where you learn new things, ocassionally things do get out of hand there, and some of them are quite grim, and as a result of which sometimes users avoid the network, or just stop posting there.

Facebook can’t afford to be like that. It is a place, a social gathering for friends, family. People rely on it for their social lives, and for these reasons, Facebook has been a friendly place.

Up until now, and until the “dislike button” is debuted, users have just one button to interact with posts, a Like button. It can be totally inappropriate in some situations, especially when the post is about some bad news. But will a Dislike button make things any better? I’m not sure this is the right idea, for e.g: if someone posts something like “I missed my flight” or “I didn’t get the job”.

A Like button has no place in these scenarios, but neither does Dislike. You can imagine how it would be for grim news like a funeral, or a divorce.

Anyway, this is what Zuckerberg’s statement says:

“People have asked about the ‘Dislike’ button for many years … and today is a special day, because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it.”

According to The Verge, Zuckerberg said that the social network wants people to use the button to express empathy and support. This suggests that perhaps Facebook is teasing that it may roll out a different button, which could apply to these situations.

On a closing note here, what do I think is a scenario where the Dislike button fits in?

What if someone posts a status update saying, “A company is downloading updates on PCs, even when users didn’t register for it.”

The above statement is a perfect example of where the Dislike button would be appropriate, as it displays the user’s emotion, kind of like a digital pitchfork which protests the company’s decision.