Facebook has always shunned the notion of a dislike button. At the end of last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained his reasoning for the lack of a dislike button, saying it would negatively impact the community. And he’s right! How upset would you be if your buddy “disliked” your post about your trip to Starbucks. It would just add unneeded drama to a platform that is already overflowing with negativity.
However, it sounds like Zuckerberg has found a solution… and it’s a dislike button. Or something like that.
During a Q&A session at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters, Zuckerberg explained that a dislike button is likely on the way, though it won’t be about fostering negativity; Zuckerberg specifically mentions Reddit’s down votes as an example of how offering a dislike button can have a poor impact on the community, and can be used to “demean” people.
Instead, Zuckerberg wants to introduce a solution that’s about “expressing empathy.” As of now, Facebook users are limited to commenting and “liking” posts, which isn’t always appropriate for heavier content. When a friend writes a post about how a family member is in the hospital, a Like can misrepresent a user’s actual sentiments. Whether that’s through a dislike button remains to be seen, but Zuckerberg revealed something is indeed coming.
Public testing for a dislike button is expected to roll out soon, and depending on how people react, it could become a mainstay of the platform for good.