Should Facebook have a ‘dislike’ button?

Corea Parks

With advancements in technology, along with vast updates and upgrades, comes customer accommodation. We saw Apple consumers persuade Apple to finally include a middle finger emoji as an option on the keyboard. Facebook, however, isn’t as easily convinced by its consumers that the “dislike” button is a good idea.

For many years, Facebook users have wanted the ability to counter the “like” button with a dislike button rather than having to choose silence.

The like button was rolled out in 2009 and has since become a very useful tool in connecting and networking through commonalities on Facebook. Is it important, too, however, to recognize that some people have commonalities through the things they dislike and/or do not agree with? According to Mark Zuckerberg, this focus leans too heavily on a negative spectrum and would bring no benefits to his billion-dollar network.

The way I see it, the dislike button could have an influence on Facebook in one of two ways. When I sit down and try to think of a way that a dislike button could benefit the network, I try to think of what is possibly corrupt due to the inability to dislike something with the click of a button. Instantly, I think of trolling. 

Trolling is a huge internet problem. There are many things that internet trolls will do for the attention they seek; the most common one on Facebook is commenting negatively on posts that express emotion or political views. So my question is, do you think that if people are given the option to hit a button to respectfully disagree with a post, they will feel it less necessary to write a post expressing their opposition? 

I think this may be the case for some, especially in less intense situations. However, I am almost certain that in most cases a dislike button won’t be enough to keep users from taking the further step of verbal expression, especially if they feel strongly about their opposition. Knowing though that this commenting is going to happen either way, wouldn’t it make sense to create as much control as possible even if it doesn’t completely eliminate the problem?

Well, that would seem likely, until you consider the opposing effect of the dislike button. Another very big issue that has grown and takes place on Facebook is cyberbullying. I can strongly say that I do not believe the dislike button will help the issue of cyberbullying in any way. On the contrary, it may actually provoke it. 

Take a look at one of the biggest factors in the growth of low self-esteem issues in adolescence: likes and views. If a person can feel so awful about themselves by comparing their 10 likes to someone else’s 1,000 likes, imagine how someone would feel if their pictures or posts’ dislikes far exceeded their likes.

In regard to cyberbullying and self-confidence, the dislike button would open up a whole new pocket of problems. 

After weighing the potential ramifications of a dislike button, I think it would be a great idea for Facebook users to chuck this one up as a loss, throw a middle finger emoji in the air and appreciate the alternative “reactions” emojis on Facebook. At least with these reactions you have options, and so far, they have not had any negative effects.