To like or to Dislike?
Earlier this week Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook users may someday soon be able to ‘dislike’ things suggesting the much sought-after dislike button is currently in the works. In a live-streamed Q&A via Facebook, Zuckerberg explained that “People have asked about the dislike button for many years…” adding “Today is the day I actually get to say we are working on it.”
A stark contrast to the stance he had taken on the topic at a Town Hall held last December when he had dismissed the idea by saying “Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to be able to say “‘that thing isn’t good’, and we’re not going to do that…” adding that he thought the notion wasn’t “…socially very valuable, or great for the community.”
So, what’s changed the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg’s, mind?
Well for a start it probably won’t be a dislike button, not exactly. The idea seems to have raised some concern from both the public and industry professionals alike, bullying and trolling topping the list of those concerns. As best put by Tony Bradley for Forbes, the consensus as it stands seems to be that “Adding a dislike button or equivalent will just pour gasoline on the fire of pointless Facebook drama.” Whilst supporters of the dislike button suggest that there is a far less sinister motive for wanting the option to dislike a post, claiming that there isn’t an accurate way of articulating condolences for such events like the passing of a family member or tragic world news. Other than words, of course, duh.
Is it really possible to create a more community-friendly version of the button that has divided Facebook users? Or will this feeble attempt to please both sides of the great divide only fail dismally as Bradley suggests? Well, in an attempt to answer that very question, Wired posted a blog yesterday that speculated what the new dislike button may look like with the help of a handful of designers. Amongst the suggested designs an I-hear-you-ear, two hands shaking to form an empathetic heart, a half shaded moon and a finger opting to point up rather than a thumb that faces up or down. Interesting. What’s our personal favourite? It’s a definite tie between the I-hear-you-ear and the two hands forming a heart *Awww*.
So as everyone continues to speculate on the biggest divide since the black/blue, white/gold debate, one question remains; to like or to dislike? That is the question.