This past week, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at a Facebook HQ town hall meeting to explain the rationale and meaning behind the upcoming dislike button. He announced few details regarding the actual button itself, but he basically explained what the team was thinking about when the button became a concrete idea. The new dislike button should be used to display sympathy and support on those posts where “liking” the post seems counterproductive (i.e. death of a loved one, job loss, etc.), according to Zuckerberg and the Facebook team’s plans. It should not be used to turn Facebook into a forum like Reddit, where users can “up vote” or “down vote” comments.
I linked below the article I’m referencing so you can read what the author gathered from the Facebook town hall meeting, but I also did my own research beyond this article to see what others had to say.
Many people are against the idea of a dislike button. Despite the fact that Facebook users have wanted a dislike button for years, people en masse are arguing against it, saying that this will only encourage cyberbullying and create a new avenue for internet bullies to create problems for victims. They also claim it will not be used for the intended purpose, only creating more issues.
Personally, I think the introduction of the dislike button will open up new doors for internet interaction and create new ways for individuals to communicate on Facebook. I can see where a problem might arise, but I think overall it will be a good thing. By immediately establishing the dislike button as a way to show sympathy (through careful introduction and extremely clear promotion), I believe users will be pleased to finally have a way to show sympathy to their friends going through rough times. Additionally, the dislike button might stop people from posting unnecessary content, forcing Facebook users to be smarter about their content choices and refrain from being the Facebook “friends” we all block from our timelines.
Zuckerberg did not disclose many of the details regarding when the button will be released to the public or any of the technicalities or potential regulations.