This Is Why A Facebook Dislike Button Is A Bad Idea


Since the ‘like’ button was introduced to Facebook in 2009, a ‘dislike’ button has been constantly requested by some users. When Facebook crossed the 1 billion mark, representing a seventh of mankind, the total number of likes was less than 0.4%. Why are some so excited about a dislike button when most of us don’t even ‘like’ the majority of posts anyway?

This is childish and amateurish. A dislike button is unnecessary. If you don’t like a post, you can simply not read it, and scroll down. If you don’t like a person, why not unfriend them, or block them? What this vengeful dislike crowd wants, and what Facebook wants to achieve are two very different things.  For Mark Zuckerberg, it seems to all be about empathy. Some statuses, due to their emotive and distressing content, seem entirely inappropriate for a ‘like’. With a dislike button, empathy can be expressed, when clicking ‘like’ on a sad post may feel insensitive. For the vengeful crowd, the real aim is to bring others down.

Truly, the real reason people are so excited by the prospect of a dislike button is because it is far easier to write why something is terrible than why it is good. The human mind finds it far easier to dislike something, as it is hard to describe why we like something. You can be irrational and negative about the things you hate, but positive emotions require reason. The feeling of dislike comes straight from our basest animal instincts.

Some of those who want to make Facebook a place where they can ‘down vote’ other people’s posts should cool their jets. Mark Zuckerberg’s statement gave hope to those of us who don’t want Facebook to descend into a hole of negativity. Zuckerberg said that he did not want it to be a mechanism for down voting others. I hope this is the case. It would be a very sad reflection of the worst traits of humanity, if all of a sudden people began to wantonly dislike pictures of their friends’ babies, pets, and cooking experiments.

We are lucky that we are all connected through the power of social media. There is no need for insults and mudslinging matches. But, regrettably, these things occur anyway. The addition of a dislike option of Facebook will only make such exchanges increasingly likely. There is enough human hate around, we do not need to start flirting with open dislikes. Perhaps, if we were not so busy highlighting people’s shortcomings, we may find their most secret redeeming qualities.


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