It was announced recently that Facebook might be adding a Dislike button to go alongside it’s universally recognisable “like” button- ‘Might’ being the key word here. However, it is still interesting to explore the two sides of the debate that would centre on the Dislike button’s introduction.
To many Facebook users, this was their voice finally being heard. Sports fans could dislike their rival teams. Fussy eaters could dislike all their hated foods. Activists could dislike the actions being taken by political figures to the current refugee crisis in the Middle-East. Basically, the possibilities are endless.
Those in support of the Dislike button have said it can be used for harmless fun, such as disliking veggies, as well as commenting on situations where a like is simply inappropriate. When a Facebook friend shares the loss of a loved one, it feels wholly tactless to “like” it, but other than writing a comment, this is the only option Facebook offers.
As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said himself “Not every moment is a good moment, right? And if you are sharing something that is sad… then it might not feel comfortable to Like that post.”
Those against the introduction of a Dislike button point to the naturally more negative nature of disliking something. In an age where cyber-bullying has become more and more common place, and with the dawn of a wave of “keyboard warriors” having heated exchanges across a variety of platforms whilst preserving their anonymity, it may make it even easier for internet trolls to act viciously towards their victim.
It is all too easy to imagine somebody posting their new haircut, their political views or maybe even a picture of their new baby only to be met by a barrage of Dislikes. This is the fear of some that believe it is much easier for someone to click Dislike than it is to write a nasty comment, and can make the vulnerable even more open to abuse.
There is also the added possibility of businesses suffering from an introduction of a Dislike button. Their product users could easily Dislike their product, without ever leaving an explanation as to why, making it nigh-on impossible to improve how they operate as the customer feedback would be too non-specific.
Whichever viewpoint you take, it could represent one of the biggest changes in Facebook’s relatively short history, were it to happen, and would certainly change the overall feel of the site. One thing that is certain is that it may hugely divide users and even see some leave the site altogether, making the Dislike button a huge gamble for Facebook.