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Facebook Working on a Dislike Button

You’ve probably been in the uncomfortable situation of scrolling through your Facebook feed and coming across a melancholy post from a friend or family member about something akin to losing a loved one, pet, or job. You want the person who has just been traumatized to know you care, but maybe a comment isn’t appropriate or you don’t know what to say. So, you “like” the status as a means of showing support but realize “liking” a disaster isn’t quite appropriate, either. This is one of the reasons why Facebook users have requested a “dislike” button in addition to the “like”.

Until now, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg has asserted that such a button would promote negativity online. According to him, people would be less likely to use it as a means to show appropriate support for tough times and more often to put people’s ideas and posts down unnecessarily. Something must have changed Zuckerburg’s mind, though, because he recently announced in a livestream video that the “dislike” button is in development.

He stated, “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.” Now that word of the button’s advent is out, it’s getting a lot of mixed reactions online. Some social media users have expressed concern that it will lead to bullying or making posts into popularity contests while others are anxious for its arrival as a means of adding empathy to conversational threads. Whatever anyone may think of it, however, it’s coming and almost here.

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