Have you ever browsed Facebook and come across a friend’s latest obnoxious selfie? You want to let them know about your burning disdain for their duck face, but probably wish there was a more subtle way of doing so.
Thanks to Facebook’s upcoming “dislike” button this will soon be possible.
“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,” Zuckerberg said during a Q&A at Facebook’s headquarters, according to Business Insider.
Zuckerberg went on to explain that Facebook didn’t add the feature earlier because he was concerned Facebook would become a Reddit-like upvoting/downvoting system, and that disliking would be primarily used for malicious purposes. Facebook’s founder emphasized that “this isn’t the type of community that we want to create.” With that said though, Facebook is still moving forward with some sort of Dislike button.
However some reports also indicate that Facebook might not be implementing a dislike button at all and instead could be working on something focused on allowing users to express virtual empathy. For example, it seems inappropriate to “like” a post about a loved one’s friend passing away.
“What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment,” said Zuckerberg.
Update: A video has surfaced that shows Mark Zuckerberg explaining exactly what Facebook is planning to test.
“You know, I think people have asked about the Dislike button for many years and probably hundreds of people have asked about this. Today is a special day because 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.
You know, it took us awhile to get here. Because you know, 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. You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that’s important to you in your day and then have someone down vote it. That isn’t what we’re here to build in the world.
But over the years of people asking for this, what we’ve kind of come to understand is that people aren’t looking 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 past 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.”
[source] Business Insider, TechCrunch[/source]