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Facebook may add a “dislike” button

Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, says that the company is considering ways in which they could implement a “Dislike” mechanism. At a recent event in California, he said that it’s one of the features most often requested by users, who have repeatedly said there should be a way to express dissatisfaction about posts.

dislike buttonApparently, Facebook generate more than 4 billion “Likes” every day, but Zuckerberg says the problem with a dislike button is that it needs to be implemented in such a way as not to demean people’s posts.

“One of things we’ve thought about for quite a while is what’s the right way to make it so that people can easily express a broader range of emotions,” said Zuckerberg, before going on “A lot of times people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives. Often people tell us that they don’t feel comfortable pressing ‘like’ because ‘like’ isn’t the appropriate sentiment.”

He has a point – how often have you seen a post that describes something where it doesn’t feel appropriate to say that you like it?

The Like button has also come under fire for simply being a way to collect users’ personal data, which the company can use to generate targeted ads or suggest pages and stories that might of of interest. Facebook has also been criticised for sites that pay third parties (“Like Farms”) to acquire fake likes, such as those promised by companies on the Internet who accept payment to get your page Liked and boost its ratings.

The issue such artificial Likes is that these are often just computer programs doing the Liking, but even if they are real people they will be paid a tiny sum to Like the page, often based in countries such as India and the Philippines. While it looks good if you simply want lots of likes on your page and don’t care who they really are, it doesn’t increase engagement with your page and content. Ultimately, it’s not a strategy that is likely to succeed in the long run.

We’ll have to wait and see how Facebook might include the feature – it would certainly be a welcome addition, but perhaps a simple “Dislike” button isn’t the ideal implementation.

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