Pin It
Facebook thumbs down dislike

Facebook is finally getting a ‘dislike’ button

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new (and not so social) feature yesterday

We've all, at one time or another, felt a burning hatred for our Facebook feeds. Whether it's that old, racist schoolfriend posting shit memes, or that lettings agent who won't stop posting pictures of his “incredible journey” at Burning Man. It can be packed with some pretty stomach-churning stuff – and sometimes, stoically scrolling past just doesn't feel like enough of a statement. 

Finally though, your bitter disdain will soon be able to be expressed with minimum effort. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday at the website's headquarters that a new “dislike” button was, after years of requests, finally under construction.

“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,” he said, speaking at Menlo Park, California. “What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment. It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that will be simple.”

Whether it'll be a straight up “dislike” seems unlikely at this stage though. Zuckerberg had previously been completely against introducing the function for fears it would spread negativity and be unattractive to brands, so it may end up being a little more complicated than that. 

“I have the feeling that if there were to be a 'dislike' button is that you would end up with these really negative social aspects to it,” former CTO Bret Taylor told Tech Radar in an interview from October 2014. “If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there's probably a word for what you want to say. I'm not saying the 'like' button isn't flawed would it be even more complex with a negative sentiment like 'dislike'.”

So, rather than “dislike”, it could end up being more empathy-based. Something like a “Hey I'm sorry!” or “Wow that sounds rubbish” – which could actually end up being even better, depending on how you look at it.