Not everything you see on your Facebook feed deserves a ‘like’. Sometimes you might really dislike what you see, or if it’s a sad story or some bad news, it feels odd to acknowledge it with a thumbs up. Realising that we’re missing something for those occasions where we want to express support or empathy without having to say we like something, such as what’s currently happening with the Syrian refugee crisis, Facebook has come up with a solution. A dislike button, sort of.
Announcing the forthcoming feature, Mark Zuckerberg says it won’t necessarily appear as a ‘dislike’ button as that would create an environment where people are voting for or against others’ posts (which could have all kinds of nasty ramifications), but will provide Facebook users with an option that’s neither positive nor negative, but empathetic.
Discussing what’s coming, Zuckerberg says: “I think people have asked about the Dislike button for many years…today is the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.”
“We didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create.”
“People aren’t looking for an ability to downvote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment, right? 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 might not feel comfortable to Like that post.”
“But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you.”
An appropriate example would be when a Facebook friend shares the news that a loved one has died. That’s not something you want to ‘like’ but you want to acknowledge it in some way, right? What we’re missing is an appropriate means with which to do so.
What else are you waiting for from the powers that be at Facebook? And will you be making use of the new middle finger emoji that apparently launches today on iOS?