Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, announced on Tuesday at a town hall Q&A that his social media site is working on creating a ‘dislike’ button. There has been speculation for years, from people who use Facebook daily, about whether or not there will ever be anything besides a ‘like’ button. People have talked about having some way to express emotion besides a comment or a ‘like’.
Zuckerberg spoke of the ‘dislike’ button, but said that it would be used, not as an aggressive attack at a post, but rather to sympathize and empathize with someone. He gave the example of a death in a family, and how the ‘like’ button does not seem appropriate, but at the same time, we feel compelled to show our support for friends on the social network. Zuckerberg was quoted in two articles as saying, “What they really want is the ability to express empathy… Not every moment is a good moment.”
Personally, I think that adding a ‘dislike’ button is a mistake for Facebook. The nature of social media can already be completely cruel, and a ‘dislike’ button opens the door for even more animosity electronically. Cyber bullying is a big issue, and as of now, it does not sound like Facebook has a way to restrain how the ‘dislike’ button would be allowed to be used. Making it empathy oriented sounds like a very noble addition on Zuckerberg’s part, but the real application of such a constricted use is not conceivable at the moment. For the sake of Facebook as a social media platform and a business, as well as those who use its facilities, Zuckerberg would be smart to keep the ‘dislike’ button nonexistent.