Facebook’s Dislike button. Giving contemptible idiots no place to hideThe ‘Dislike’ button will give the ‘Like’ button more gravitas
Read in 3 minutes
The Facebook ‘Dislike’ button will give the ‘Like’ button more gravitas
In the past, if you clicked ‘Like’ on a piece of content published on Facebook – for example, about refugees getting rough treatment – it could be argued that you liked the fact that such atrocities are getting coverage (making the world think and take action). More darkly, you could be publicly announcing that you genuinely enjoy the pain and suffering of the situation.
Once Facebook’s ‘Dislike’ button is launched, contemptible idiots will have no place to hide online. Hiding behind the ambiguity of the ‘Like’ button will no longer be an option. It’ll be time to show your true colours.
Zuckerberg argues, “What they (users) really want is to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment”.
“If you ‘Like’ a post about an atrocity, you’re telling the world that you’re a contemptible idiot and proud of it”
I’d argue that while the new ‘Dislike’ button may facilitate empathy (being able to ‘Dislike’ the fact that your nan’s cat has just died), it also gives the ‘Like’ button even greater power. Power it’s never had before. The power of clarity.
No more will a ‘Like’ be shrouded in any doubt (‘ooo, was that a sarcastic ‘Like’?’. ‘Was that someone showing that they have seen my post and are thinking of me, but don’t want to comment?’, or was it a genuine ‘LIKE’?). A ‘Like’ will be a ‘Like’. If you ‘Like’ a post about an atrocity, you’re telling the world that you’re a contemptible idiot and proud of it.
Increasing the opportunities for online trolls
There are wider issues that Facebook will need to be wary of. What about situations where content doesn’t require empathy? Content where a ‘Dislike’ doesn’t mean, ‘I’m sorry to hear this news’, but rather ‘I don’t like what you’re doing / saying / wearing’, etc.
Could the ‘Dislike’ button increase instances of online bullying? Could businesses suffer from bogus ‘dislikers’ who simply ‘Dislike’ a post in an attempt to discredit or devalue the content and or its publisher – for malicious purposes?
It’s reassuring to hear that Zuckerberg doesn’t want to follow the Reddit model, where up votes result in a post being made more visible, with down-votes doing the opposite. At least this will mean that those with mischief rather than empathy as their motive will not affect a post’s organic reach (what’s left of organic reach), merely potentially gather momentum for the case against a piece of content.
“Are you a kind person, or are you a contemptible idiot? You’re about to be given the power of clarity”
I think the ‘Dislike’ button is a great opportunity for those who want to show empathy – but where the opportunity to empathise isn’t present, the ‘Dislike’ button and its older (soon to be considerably stronger brother, ‘Like’ button), will now have crystal clear clarity.
Are you a kind person, or are you a contemptible idiot? You’re about to be given the power of clarity and contrast. ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’. Choose wisely.
How do you think the Facebook ‘Dislike’ button will impact the way people interact on the platform?
Leave your comment below – we’d love to spark up a conversation.
Follow us and join the discussion on Twitter – @GoatDigital
image source: Peter under Flickr Creative Commons 2.0 license.