Mark Zuckerberg made it official: Facebook is looking into the “dislike” button. Obviously, an enormous debate has sparked about whether this button should come or not into existence. While there is still going to be some time until the dislike button gets its spotlight on Facebook, we want to talk about how this experience will change the way the social media giant will work. Forever.
We need to consider that the “Like” button has always been the center of positive or neutral behavior on Facebook. Whenever someone sees a post, picture, quote, book or anything else, they can choose to like that specific topic or not. Liked posts on Facebook can be deemed “hot” or not based on how many likes they have, so few likes mean that there will not be much going on around that specific post.
The dislike would start a completely new trend on Facebook, a trend that might have a good number of subtle negative aspects. While the like is positive-passive, the dislike can be passive-negative, or even aggressive for that matter. People like and “gather around” a favorite subject and people who dislike a subject can gather around for the hate fest, which is not what Facebook is looking for.
The purpose of the social platform is to encourage friendly talks, open debates and freedom. So if it promoting freedom, why don’t they invent a dislike button and just leave it like that? Many of us might ask this question, but the truth is that the dislike button might be a great reason why people will not come on Facebook anymore. A negative community is enough a reason not to join it in the first place.
Zuckerberg explained that he does not want Facebook to turn “into a forum in which people are voting up or down people’s posts” and that is exactly what he does not want Facebook to turn into. The CEO mentioned that people are not looking forward to downvoting others’ posts, but “they want to be able to express empathy.”
Either way, when asked about the dislike button, Zuckerberg only said that the company “is working on it”. We might as well have a totally different button by the time the project is complete, but what is important is that Facebook remains a positive community at core, or at least a passive one. Giving it the means to turn negative or aggressive would be a mistake.
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