After years of users waiting, Facebook is going to roll out a “Dislike” button, giving its members another way to interact with posts.
CNBC reported that on Tuesday, Facebook’s co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the news during a Q&A session:
People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day, because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it.
As the PR daily pointed out, Facebook has been firm in its stance against creating a “dislike” button.
The website also mentioned that in October 2014, the social network’s former CTO, Bret Taylor, explained the reason behind the decision:
The “dislike” button “came up a lot. In fact, even the language of the word like was something we discussed a lot as well. But regarding the ‘dislike’ button, the main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences.
Zuckerberg shared a similar sentiment during Tuesday’s Q&A, saying the idea behind the “dislike” button is to make it a tool to “express empathy,” not to insult other users:
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 that 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 someone downvote it.
Yet, Zuckerberg did not explain the way the “dislike” button would function nor how Facebook would prevent social media trolls from abusing the feature. There was also no mention of how the button might affect branded content, especially sponsored Facebook posts.
Though many social media users responded positively, several users worried the tool would be used more to inflict pain and damage than for supportive responses.