Facebook does not need a “dislike” button

With just about everything you get to see view in Facebook, there’s usually a button or a link displayed as “like” associated with the topic.  If you click that button, the person who posted that link gets a little note on his Facebook page that you liked what ever it was that they had put up.

When I first saw the ‘like” button, the first thing I thought of was my TiVo remote with it’s “Thumbs Up” and “Thumbs Down” buttons.  You can thumb up or down a program while you are watching it.  This information gets stored on the TiVo and it uses that information to pick shows it think you might like to watch.  A completely optional feature, but very cool none the less.

With the TiVo ‘Thumbs Down” feature in mind, I wondered why there wasn’t a “dislike” button.  If you believe in Sturgeon’s Law (ninety percent of everything is crap), then there is going to be stuff on Facebook that you won’t like.  Since they let you express your approval with the “like’ button, why not be able to express your disapproval?

I’m not the only one who has wondered about that.  There’s at least one poll on Facebook that asks “Should Facebook get a dislike button?”  if you have a Facebook account, you can hit that poll from this link.  I saw it because a friend of mine had already voted “Yes”.

Voting “Yes” was my initial inclination, but I decided to think about it for minute.  The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that it would be a bad idea to have a “dislike” button.  It would be a tool for expressing a negative opinion and that’s not what Facebook is about.

A large part of the early appeal of Facebook was that it was closed community.  If you want to see someone’s Facebook page, you had to be a member of Facebook and probably need to be a “friend” as Facebook defines it) of that person before being able to view that page. 

Since you have to have a Facebook account to access Facebook user pages, there are no anonymous users on Facebook.  If the Facebook administrators catch you using a fake name (like the way a certain B-List actress did last winter), they will disable the account.  What ever you do on Facebook, it will always be associated with your account.

If you could click a “dislike” button for something that a friend had posted, your friend is going to know you didn’t like what they had posted.  No one is going to want to see a little thumbs down image next to the picture of their new kitten/cat/tattoo/etc.  There will be a percentage of users who will be offended when their post is disliked.  That can lead to bad feelings between the two people and add a negative tone to the Facebook experience.

If you feel strongly against something, you can still leave a comment and express your opinion.  That can actually be helpful.  If you wanted to press the “dislike” button on something because you found it inaccurate or offensive, you can actually write why you feel that way.  Constructive criticism means a lot more than a little image of thumb pointing down.  Some people will still be offended by critical posts, but now you will have a starting point to discuss it.  So I’m not taking that poll and I’m hoping that Facebook doesn’t implement a “dislike” feature.

13 thoughts on “Facebook does not need a “dislike” button”

  1. thats a better way to look at it I suppose. I’m with you. This way facebook wont be a “negative experience” as you described it, as myspace became.

  2. No, Facebook does need a dislike button. People need to have their feelings hurt once in a while. We’re breeding too many pats on the back now a days. I mean WTF? People are posting too much sh!t and it needs to be dealt with in a “dislike” way. Too many politicly correct people have ruined this world.

  3. Agree with Anonymous #2 – Not having a dislike button leads to more vitrolic response if you really don’t like anything – if you feel the need to actually type something in to the effect that you dislike a post, your probably going to expound on why exactly it ticks you off, leading to more of a negative experience than simply clicking a dislike link which would be more likely if you were given that option.

  4. “No one is going to want to see a little thumbs down image next to the picture of their new kitten/cat/tattoo/etc.”

    I agree with you there. However, I still want a dislike button, but maybe only for status and wall post purposes. I don’t really want it on my photos. If it is added to the photo section then I would say facebook should add a hide or undo feature too. Like say someone dislikes a photo of yours, then you should be able to hide or undo the dislike/thumbs down. And it should make it where the person who disliked your photo cannot repeatedly dislike it. Kind of like if someone removes them self from a photo they were tagged in the original tagger can’t retag them, the person has to tag them self again. (I hope that made sense lol.)

  5. I really don’t think people would abuse a dislike feature. Most of the people whose statuses we see, we are friends with, correct? So, why would we want to purposely piss off a friend? I want a dislike button for purposes such as “Joe Schmo doesn’t feel good today” THUMBS DOWN. Easy way to say you feel their pain, but don’t have to comment and say anything. I really think it’s not right for them not to have a dislike button if they have a like button. Get rid of the like button, then. Otherwise, make it even.

  6. I think a dislike feature would be a positive change.. it would allow less confrontation on FB in means of aggressive commenting..

  7. The times I see most often wanting a ‘Dislike Button’ isn’t for anything mean or negative, but in the way Becky said- “Brenda S is feeling lost in the world…” DISLIKE!
    “Carla L can’t find a halloween costume for the party tonight” DISLIKE!

  8. My friends posted that he had to go to jail next week. I couldn’t click “Dislike”, because there isn’t one. I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded if I disliked the fact that he was going to jail .

  9. I’m glad at least some people give this a second thougt (hard to find blogs about whether there should be one amoungst the 1000 copypaste dislike groups). I’m also against that button cause of the negative tone it has.

  10. FB will never implement a dislike button while traffic and popularity is growing. In the long run, it would create unconstructive negativity on the site. This would drive visitors away..leading to less pageviews and therefor less advertising dollars..the ultimate goal.

  11. My friend John just posted on facebook, “I just learned that I have cancer.” Wouldn’t it be just as nasty if I went in and clicked “Like this” on such a post?

  12. Anonymous 12:32 PM,

    In that case, I’d want to post a comment before looking for a like/dislike button.

    I agree with Chris that a dislike button will lead to negativity and hurt feelings. If it come down to it, I’d much rather see Facebook get rid of the Like button than add a Dislike button.

  13. To Anonymous at 12:32pm:

    There will always be a way to post something nasty or offensive. There’s just no point for Facebook to make it easier to be negative. Plus, if you had posted something nasty to John’s wall (to use your example), John can easily delete your comment.

Comments are closed.