We all have that one annoying friend that’s taken over our Facebook newsfeed with tedious updates about their uneventful life. Ever wish you could publicly demonstrate your disdain? You might actually get the opportunity to very soon as Facebook is introducing a Dislike button.
A few weeks ago in a Q&A session at Facebook’s headquarters in California CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the new feature of the social network will be ready for user testing in the near future: “People have asked about the dislike button for many years. We’ve finally heard you and we’re working on this and we will deliver something that meets the needs of the larger community.”
Zuckerberg has, however, disappointed some of the more contemptuous Facebook users by dismissing the idea of an upvote/downvote system like Reddit. In December 2014 in another Q&A he stated that Facebook will not release a dislike button that is “a force for bad and [is] demeaning the posts that people are putting out there.”
What the dislike button is meant to represent instead is empathy. The like button has been endowed with a large spectrum of emotions… from simple liking and to love, support or even Cuntry Living rage. But there are times when liking a post feels insensitive.
Prof Andrea Forte from Drexel University, Philadelphi, wrote in an email to the BBC: “I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss.”
Will Oremus, Slate’s senior chronology writer, believes that “people won’t have the option to “dislike” or even “sympathise” with posts that haven’t been set up by their authors to enable those responses. So you won’t be able to “dislike” your uncle’s polemical political posts unless he’s gone out of his way to allow you to do so.”
Mark Zuckerberg did not elaborate on when the new feature will be introduced or what it would be named. “”It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that will be simple,” Zuckerberg commented for the Tech Insider.