If news is to be believed, then the ‘dislike’ button is coming soon to Facebook. Now I’m not sure whether I want to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ the idea. But let me try to reason it out here.

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What I ‘like’ about the ‘dislike’ button

If there’s one thing I’ve found creepy on Facebook  (okay, so there are several things I find creepy  but this one deserves a mention today) it is when people use the ‘like’ button for status updates that inform your friends that
– you or someone close to you is ill
– you had an accident
– one of your family members passed away
– you’ve been robbed
– a celebrity passed away.

What’s to ‘like’ about any of those updates? But people use the ‘like’ button to acknowledge that they’ve read your status update and they can’t write a meaningful comment because they
– are in the loo when they read it
– are otherwise occupied (I leave that to your imagination)
– are shocked beyond words
– are taking part in a fast-finger competition
– are just plain stupid and insensitive.

Hopefully, all the people mentioned above can now use the ‘dislike’ button to convey their feelings!

Tony Bradley had a good article out in Forbes about why he dislikes the ‘dislike’ button. Let me share  some of my fears too.

What I fear about the ‘dislike’ button

Like all things that are meant for good, including Facebook itself, this might lead to
– arguments over why you ‘disliked’ a particular update
– people keeping count of who disliked their updates and returning the favour
– more time wasted on Facebook
– trolls having a field day.
Even more worrying are the valid fears raised by social workers in this article on Quartz.

New York City public school social worker Joseph Klein told Quartz: “The dislike button is going to become yet another tool for exclusion and bullying—something that is already a huge concern with regard to youth.”

Now that is truly scary.

Do you like or dislike the idea of a ‘dislike’ button on Facebook? I’d love to hear your views. 

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