The Pros and Cons to having a Facebook “Dislike” Button

For years, users have petitioned to add a dislike button on Facebook – and co-founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, has announced that one is in the works.

During a town hall Q&A meeting this week in Menlo Park, Calif. Zuckerberg says

People have asked about the dislike button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, 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.

Don’t worry, Zuckerberg does not plan to throw away the positive reinforcement of your posts into a like and dislike battle. He says that the dislike button will serve as a source for disapproving a sad post.

Zuckerberg’s views on a possible dislike button seems rather complexed, but having it would definitely be valuable.

The thing I think is very valuable is that there are more sentiments that people want to express than just positivity or that they like something. A lot of times, people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives, or that are tough cultural or social things, and often, people tell us that they don’t feel comfortable pressing like, because like isn’t the appropriate sentiment when someone lost a loved one or is talking about a very difficult issue.

One of the things that we have had some dialogue about internally, and have thought about for quite a while, is: What’s the right way to make it so that people can easily express a broader range of emotions—to empathize, or to express surprise, or laughter, or any of these things?

You can always just comment. It’s not like there isn’t a way to do that today. A lot of people are commenting on posts all the time. But there’s something that’s just so simple about the like button. If you’re commenting, a lot of the time, you feel like you have to have something witty to say, or add to the conversation. Everyone feels like they can just press the like button, and that’s an important way to sympathize or empathize with someone in an important moment that they put themselves out there to share.

Here are a few reasons why there should be a “dislike” button for Facebook.

  • I agree with Zuckerberg: There are posts that constantly pops up in my feed that I am sometimes not comfortable with seeing – especially if it’s from someone who’s activity automatically comes to the top of my feed. A dislike button could let Facebook know I do not want to see that kind of post again.
  • A dislike button would offer more perspective on how people feel about the post. Yes – anyone can comment on a post and share their opinions that way, but for busy people like myself, simply disliking it would save me time.
  • This button would not be any different from YouTube’s thumb’s up and thumb down button. For viral post or visual content, the dislike button could serve some value. From a marketing perspective, it could allow a company to see who within their audience have an approval or disapproval rate of what they’re doing.

Here are a few reasons why a “dislike” button for Facebook won’t be necessary. 

  • If there is a dislike button, would their be any form of anonymity? Users may not be comfortable with letting someone else know they do not like a particular post. Just bypassing the post and ignoring it serves this function just fine.
  • It will get out of hand. People on the Internet are cruel and would dislike something just to do it – completely taking away the purpose of the button.
  • Back to my second point in the pros, a dislike button wouldn’t necessary be game changing for Facebook. Anyone may find more value in commenting their thoughts on a posts.

What are you thoughts? Comment below. Also make sure you take a second to like our Facebook page here

Follow me on Twitter: @deontaemoore

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