Facebook's dislike button: what's not to love?

Published September 20th, 2015 - 11:27 GMT

The globe-spanning social network Facebook may soon see a button that allows for more nuanced and varied responses to a user’s post than the current “like” button.

The company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg said at a live-streamed Q&A Tuesday from the company’s headquarters at Menlo Park, California that users “have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years…. Today is the day where I actually get to say we’re working on it and are very close to actually shipping a test of it.”

The company won’t release a straightforward “dislike” button, he clarified.

“We don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create. You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that was important to you in your day and have somewhat downvote it. That isn’t what we’re here to build in the world,” he said in response to a question about the new button from an Egyptian Facebook user.

“People aren’t looking for an ability to downvote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy…. If you are sharing something that is sad…it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post, but your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and relate to you,” Zuckerberg said.

Developing a wider range of clickable responses has been “surprisingly complicated,” Zuckerberg confided. “But we have an idea that we think we’ll be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does we’ll be able to roll it out more broadly.”

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