First the middle finger emoji, now the Dislike button. It seems like we can finally express our true feelings on social media.
At Facebook’s Townhall meeting today, head honcho Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage to announce all sorts of important news and answer questions from the public. But all everyone really heard was this: “People have asked about the ‘Dislike’ button for many years… 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.” At last.
Can you imagine how your Facebook life will change? Wait, maybe it wouldn’t because no one’s got the gall to express negativity unless it comes under the cloak of anonymity.
As for how the use of the button will be mitigated to prevent Facebook from becoming a cesspit of negativity, that remains to be seen. Zuckerberg hasn’t gone into much detail, aside from saying that he doesn’t want it to become a Reddit style of upvoting or downvoting – but that the end goal is to make the button into a tool to “express empathy” because "not every moment is a good moment."
But we all know that given the chance to, we’ll be using it to tell people to STFU. It will be interesting to see how Facebook prevents troll wars from breaking out even though it’s essentially arming them with the new button.
Until the Dislike button becomes real, you’re better off just unfollowing people on your Facebook feed to see fewer of their #humblebrag posts – or just typing "Dislike" into your comments.