Facebook Dislike: Sure, Why Not?

Facebook Dislike: Sure, Why Not?


Mashable analyst thinks Zuckerburg is all wet.

Most social media sites allow users to like or dislike a page, offering a prominent “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” symbol for the clicking. StumbleUpon, Digg and Mixx are among the websites which have successfully employed this voting right, but not Facebook. All Facebook has to offer is a “like” button which means you either approve of the page or are forced to keep your supposed negative thinking to yourself.

Zuckerburg Opines

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg told Diane Sawyer on “World News” recently that he is definitely considering a dislike button, but Mashable’s Pete Cashmore believes that day will never arrive despite a Facebook page with 3.2 million followers advocating the change and two unofficial Firefox dislike extensions available.

Writing for CNN Tech on July 22, 2010, Cashmore says it won’t happen and for one important reason: Facebook isn’t interested in allowing users to show distaste for a page as that step would put it in opposition of the company’s interest. And that may be a valid reason: how many social media sites have degenerated because a few, vocal users have overrun the camp with their negativity? A prime example of that would be Reddit.

Psychological Barrier

About the like button Cashmore says, “…it lowers the psychological barrier to connecting with commercial entities on the site — while previously users could “Become a Fan” of a brand, they now imply “Like” that brand’s page, resulting in higher engagement.”

Clicking the like button also has a benefit for web publishers as people are more likely to like an article than they are to share it. Liked articles create positive buzz through more connections and by adding value. Stick in a dislike button and you just may diminish the whole Facebook experience or so the thinking goes.

PR Nightmare

Cashmore says that, “While Like buttons connect Facebook users to their interests, Dislike buttons serve no such purpose. Like buttons are about connection; Dislike buttons are about division.” And, with Facebook depending on brands, businesses and web publishers to sustain their business, don’t expect Zuckerburg to shoot himself in the foot by taking a dislikable public relations step no matter how much users want a dislike option.

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Categories: Social Media

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".