Facebook announces it is developing an empathetic 'dislike' button

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2015
After years of requests stemming from its user base of more than a billion people, Facebook will add a "dislike" button that will allow users to express empathy or sadness, rather than negativity.

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg


Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg revealed his company's plans during a Q&A session at its corporate headquarters on Tuesday. In the live streamed event, Zuckerberg revealed that development of the so-called "dislike" button is in the works, though he didn't give a timeframe for when it might launch outside of "soon."

Zuckerberg said Facebook has been reluctant to add a "dislike" button to accompany its popular "like" button, because officials at the company have been concerned about it becoming a way for users to "upvote" and "downvote" posts like on Reddit.

But there are times when users want to acknowledge a post without "liking" it, particularly if the news being shared is sad. For example, Zuckerberg said the company wants to offer an alternative way to respond when a family member dies, or for events like the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.

"Not every moment is a good moment," Zuckerberg explained.

Facebook's CEO said the project has been in the works for awhile, but has taken some time to bring to market because developing it has been "surprisingly complicated."

Facebook is the single largest developer for Apple's iOS platform, as the company is responsible for four of the top ten most popular mobile apps of all time: The official Facebook app, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp Messenger.

In the past, Facebook has brought new features to its social networking service first to iOS users. For example, in July the company debuted a News Feed prioritization option on Apple's mobile operating system, making it easier for users to decide which posts they are presented with.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Which button do I click? Dis' like or dat like?
  • Reply 2 of 35
    grow some stones Zuckerberg, provide a range of responses to complement 'Like'
  • Reply 3 of 35
    The greatest, once in a lifetime innovation from Facebook. And it probably cost billions of Facebook dollars to produce. They have to get it right. The stakes are high.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Something tells me there already is enough hate and nastiness in Facebook without a dedicated negative button.
  • Reply 5 of 35

    The dislike button will be on a subscription basis, first 3 months for free. When you sign up, it will delete all your FB content.

  • Reply 6 of 35



    There is one and only one reason Facebook has never had a dislike button: having a dislike button would scare away the sponsors. It has nothing whatsoever to do with nurturing a community. The problem with a dislike button is that no corporation would ever have a Facebook page if there was both a Like and Dislike button. No corporation would place ads in Facebook feeds if users could dislike the ad.

     

    So, don't be surprised that this upcoming dislike button doesn't appear on corporate Facebook pages or within ads. You may be able to dislike one of your dippy friend's selfies, but you can rest assured that you won't be able to dislike any of Facebook's customers. You are not a Facebook customer. The advertisers are the customers. Facebook will never do anything to offend or drive them away.

     

    BTW, same goes for Google and every other sleazy company that use the near ubiquitous surveillance advertising business model. A business model, I hasten to add, that has pretty much ruined the internet.

     

    Thank god for Apps. Paid-for Apps that don't collect your personal information or track you. 

  • Reply 7 of 35
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,249member

    I can see that dislike button get abused big time...  It'll be a troll's nirvana to have that ability.

  • Reply 8 of 35
    anomeanome Posts: 1,123member
    The trick is not to call it "dislike", but maybe something like "sympathy". Although in some instances "outrage" may be a better option.

    Here's a thought, let the poster choose which buttons appear on their posts. Then again, who is really going to want to have to ask people for sympathy if a loved on has just died?

    Maybe a drop down list of different icons - thumbs up, ranty emoticon, bunch of flowers, that kind of thing.

    Anyway, you (or Facebook, really) don't want anything negative, since that can be abused. Outrage might be pushing it, but I think it can work. Facebook may disagree, though.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    eightzero wrote: »
    The dislike button will be on a subscription basis, first 3 months for free. When you sign up, it will delete all your FB content.

    That would be great - since you cannot delete your posted content. It will be invisible, but not deleted, much in he same way you cannot delete your account
  • Reply 10 of 35
    So they develop a button. That's headline news.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    Ok. Since I'm never sure if "liking" a sad post shows support or that I like the sad thing that's happened to someone..
  • Reply 12 of 35
    anome wrote: »
    The trick is not to call it "dislike", but maybe something like "sympathy". Although in some instances "outrage" may be a better option.

    Here's a thought, let the poster choose which buttons appear on their posts. Then again, who is really going to want to have to ask people for sympathy if a loved on has just died?

    Maybe a drop down list of different icons - thumbs up, ranty emoticon, bunch of flowers, that kind of thing.

    Anyway, you (or Facebook, really) don't want anything negative, since that can be abused. Outrage might be pushing it, but I think it can work. Facebook may disagree, though.

    The best implementation of this kind of feature I've seen is in Slack. They recently added "reactions" and it allows anyone to add a "reaction" to any post. A reaction is just a single emoji that appears as a button that other can also click to up that reaction's count. Mousing over a reaction lists everyone that clicked it. People can add as many new reactions as they like.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    sflocal wrote: »
    I can see that dislike button get abused big time...  It'll be a troll's nirvana to have that ability.

    It might be an interesting way to help weed out trolls.
    Think about it: if you're a naysayer, what better way to collect metrics on mindless naysaying than a dislike button? It will open new doors for experiments in online communities, assuming Facebook releases an API for mining that data.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    Quote:


     officials at the company have been concerned about it becoming a way for users to "upvote" and "downvote" posts


     

    Facebook is like a hotel room toilet seat: sanitized for your protection.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    The greatest, once in a lifetime innovation from Facebook. And it probably cost billions of Facebook dollars to produce. They have to get it right. The stakes are high.

     

    Their stock price will now sky rocket in the light of their massive innovation in mehness....

  • Reply 16 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by foggyhill View Post

     

     

    innovation in mehness....


     

    A Meh button would be innovation. Register your disinterest on the internet today!

  • Reply 17 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post





    The best implementation of this kind of feature I've seen is in Slack. They recently added "reactions" and it allows anyone to add a "reaction" to any post. A reaction is just a single emoji that appears as a button that other can also click to up that reaction's count. Mousing over a reaction lists everyone that clicked it. People can add as many new reactions as they like.

     

    If people on FB could filter out people who have a huge amount of dislikes on their account, or others, trolls would be filtered out.

    People who it occasionally would still get through.

  • Reply 18 of 35

    Will there be a way to hit the dislike button on Facebook as a whole? 

  • Reply 19 of 35
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eightzero View Post

     

    The dislike button will be on a subscription basis, first 3 months for free. When you sign up, it will delete all your FB content.


    Thats a brilliant idea, paid-subscription for the dislike privilege...I can see revenue up 10% and the stock will soar.

  • Reply 20 of 35

    There should be two dislikes: "dislike with indifference," and "dislike with snark."

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