Showing your disdain for something on Facebook has always involved commenting, as opposed to having a nifty little ‘Dislike’ button to express your displeasure over a status or picture.
Until now that is.
Just imagine the following scenario. You see someone on your Facebook list who has shared the details of a person passing away or some similar tragic occurrence that deserves sympathy. Common sense would dictate that people would express their thoughts in a comment. ‘Liking’ such a status can be easily misconstrued.
It was this thinking that led Mark and Co. to bring a much needed change for Facebookers, especially in light of the social giant boasting 1 billion daily users. Like it or not, Facebook has become an ongoing facet of life for most people.
The new button is intended to ‘express empathy’ on a Facebook post
According to Mark Zuckerberg, a Dislike button is coming to Facebook soon, one that involves just a click or a tap to make your views known in a different way. Before people start thinking about the potential abuses that a ‘Dislike’ button on Facebook might be inviting (for harassing people, brands or celebrities for instance), Zuckerberg also added that the new button is intended to ‘express empathy’ on a Facebook post.
According to Zuckerberg’s remarks, it is safe to assume that people won’t be cluelessly liking a post that details a public tragedy or someone’s private loss. Instead, the inclusion of a ‘Dislike’ button may be in the hands of a user. In some posts, giving that ubiquitous ‘Thumbs Up’ sign could come across as socially inappropriate and this way Facebook can let users control how their posts are meant to be shared.
One interesting point here is that people have started to liken the ‘Dislike’ button to the ‘Downvote’ comment button on Reddit. However, judging by Zuckerberg’s utterings, the dislike and like buttons wont act like downvoting and upvoting people’s posts in a similar manner.
The new button will be available for all users in the coming weeks
Expect the new button to roll out in the coming weeks. Facebook’s CEO remarked that they are working on getting that ‘Dislike’ button properly developed and tested. After all, it has been a top request from users over the years and Zuckerberg needs to get it exactly right so that it doesn’t turn into a tool with potential for abuse.
The internet has, in typical internet fashion, reacted to this development with varying degrees.
‘Now that everyone dislikes Facebook, it’s getting a ‘dislike’ button.’ – Billy Steele, Engadget
Slightly worried that a Facebook dislike button might mean people on the internet start being nasty to each other. That would be a shame.
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) September 15, 2015
Glad Facebook has finally decided to add the dislike button, because in my opinion, social media isn't negative enough.
— Michael (@Home_Halfway) September 15, 2015