Facebook lovers, your dreams have come true. Users will soon be able to express their dislikes as much as their likes. A “dislike” button is coming to Facebook.
Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement Tuesday during a live online Q&A session from Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif,, USA Today reports. “People have asked about the “dislike” button for many years, Mark Zuckerberg said. “Today is a special day, because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it.”
Facebook has delayed building a “dislike” button in the past in fear that it could be more harmful than helpful. Facebook and its CEO said in December the social network had no plans for a dislike button. That changed Tuesday.
“Not every good moment is good moment,” he said, according to the Washington Post. “If you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away—it may not be comfortable to like that post.”
Since Facebook does not want to push anyone’s buttons, Zuckerberg reiterated that he does not want to create a system where posts are seen as good and bad. Therefore, a straight dislike button won’t be what users see, PC Magazine reports. The company is working on “something that allows you to express ‘empathy’ with ‘more options.’”
The Post said that this “could mean not a single button but rather a range of possible responses that offer alternatives to the like without being its direct opposite.” This should not come as a surprise. Rumors flew in 2013 that Facebook contemplated over the idea of a “sympathize” button for when “like” just isn’t good enough.
Social media observers think the button is OK. “They may use a dislike button to express some negative emotions, like frustration with ads popping up in their feeds, but I doubt it will cause them to start wantonly disliking pictures of their friends’ babies, dogs, cats and cooking experiments,” Dr. Andrea Forte, a Drexel University professor who studies social media, said. “I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss.”
However, I’m not sold. I think that having an option to dislike a post is worse than not having the option. But maybe a “dislike” button won’t actually be available. I guess we will just have to wait and see what Facebook comes up with!