Does Facebook Need a Dislike Button

A question which has been asked since the “Like” button came into existence. It is the most discussed potential social media feature – a Dislike button for Facebook.

Facebook has tested this idea time and time again, adding a dislike button as a way for users to show their disagreement with Facebook posts. Last year, Facebook tested upvote/ downvote systems for comments, similar to Youtube. The notion was to reduce the impact of content posted with bad intentions. The test lasted for a few weeks and there has been no activity on it since.

So why would Facebook need a dislike button? Imagine a really offensive post that is seen by 50 thousand people this post is liked by 10 percent of the viewers ( 5k likes) but for the other 45000 it was extremely offensive . With the current system you only get to see the 5000 likes sending a wrong message and does not reflect the 45000 dislikes which would ultimately classify the content as being unpopular and make people think 10 times before posting stupid stuff. A dislike button, in this case, could potentially cause people to think and change their attitude when online.

Having a dislike button can reduce the arguments people end up having leading to further disagreements. The Dislike button is a quick and less intrusive action to voice your opinion on a particular piece of content. The dislike button would be a great way to question the validity of fake news spreading on Facebook.

Is there a downside to downvote/dislike button? The dislike button could potentially be used to attack particular pieces of content and reduce its perceived popularity without people actually knowing what the piece of content is about. Theoretically, you could gather enough people and decide to dislike a particular post ensuring that the reach of that post is reduced which is not the intention of the dislikbutton. . In doing so people can weaponize this feature and cause  irreparable harm to the creator of that content.

Noting the arguments above, it is easy to see why the dislike button is a controversial feature. It provides a simple option to voice broad level disagreement but comes with a potential misuse which Facebook is trying to reduce on its platform. Given that users can already report content if they wish to do so and that has not always been used with the best of intentions. It is difficult to say whether the dislike button will make things better if implemented with proper checks in place and whether or not facebook embraces it, only time will tell.

Let us know your thoughts on the article in the comments below. Until next time.

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Aseem Gupta

Aseem Gupta

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