Last month, Mark Zuckerburg CEO of Facebook, unveiled big plans to roll out a ‘Dislike’ button on the site. New from the popular social network was met with many varying opinions about whether or not a ‘dislike’ option would in fact be a good idea. For some, the new button would be a great way to easily express negative emotions and opinions. But for others there was concern that the ‘dislike’ button would only lead to online bullying.
Ultimately, Facebook decided against the introduction of a single ‘dislike’ button at the risk of introducing too much negativity to the social network. Instead, they announced they will soon release 6 new emojis to represent a range of emotions. Users can easily post these icons to express their thoughts and opinions.
Sounds great, but we can’t help but feel the ‘dislike’ button might have worked, and, more importantly, would have been more exciting. Here’s why…
Your friend’s pet hamster dies. Your cousin is injured playing football. These are the sorts of statuses you tend to see on Facebook. When it doesn’t always feel right to comment the only other option is clicking ‘like’ and that’s just downright inappropriate and weird. Having a ‘dislike’ button would give users more of a variety of options, when it comes to taking action with the posts they see.
Sure the ‘like’ button is great every time someone announces their engagement or pregnancy, but what about those tougher times for your friends and family? A ‘dislike’ button would give users the option to express empathy with friends and family when things aren’t going so great. Just a quick click of the button and you’ve given your friend a virtual hug to remind them they’re not alone.
We all have that friend who occasionally expresses a controversial opinion on Facebook. Whether it’s his undying support for your rival football team or X Factor contestant, having the option to ‘dislike’ his statuses would be really useful. As it stands, your only option is to ignore the status or comment and risk getting into an argument, which definitely isn’t an ideal scenario.
For those times online where you quickly want to communicate that you disagree with something, a ‘dislike’ button would be perfect. It’s a quick and easy way to effectively communicate your own thoughts and feelings, without risking an online war with those dreaded keyboard warriors.
Facebook is a brilliant platform for debate and sharing opinion. In those cases where somebody shares a post they’d like to gather opinion on, a Facebook ‘dislike’ button would work particularly well. In a similar fashion to the way YouTube allows users to ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ videos, a Facebook ‘dislike’ button would allow everyone to hone in and share their opinion.
This would also make it easier for users to scan the network and judge to see how many overall likes and dislikes a post has received. And having two clear options will allow users to share their own thoughts and opinions on a certain subject matter too.
While we agree with Facebook’s ultimate decision to avoid introducing negativity to the social network, we can’t help but think a ‘dislike’ button might not have been so bad. Giving users more freedom to express their opinions would have paved the way for more open and honest communication online. After all, that is exactly what social media is about, right?
Image Credit – Piotr Lohunko via stocksnap.io