Tuesday, town hall meeting at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California: cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook was finally working on a “dislike button”.
Is that a good idea? Our first reaction was NO! Would you really want your ex-boyfriend disdaining your engagement photo? But according to Zuckerberg, that is not the idea behind the tool: “People aren’t looking for an ability to voting up or down on other people’s posts, that doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create” the CEO explained. “What they really want is to be able to express empathy.”
Meaning it’s more about letting your friend know you’re sorry that they’re cat died and less about hating on somebody’s endless series of selfies. “Not every moment is a good moment,” Zuckerberg continued. “And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugee crisis, that touches you, or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to like that post.” (Which is true, assuming that you’re sharing your whole life with the Facebook community – which doesn’t apply to me)
Being able to dislike something with a click simply seems risky to me. Isn’t Facebook all about getting positive feedback? People are craving for likes and acknowledgement, which is usually the motivation to “share” something. But does the community still share if the chances of negative response are high? Already today, people can leave negative comments, but it takes time and thought. In comparison, a button is quickly pressed and furthermore, it is almost anonymous.
I am not convinced of the dislike button yet, but I am convinced that Mark Zuckerberg will find a way without losing clients – by whatever means necessary.