The idea that Facebook would create a “Dislike” button to pal around with its famous “Like” button tantalized users when CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the possibility recently in a Q&A at the Facebook offices. Zuckerberg acknowledged that users have expressed a great demand to express a “wider range of emotions” on the social network.
Adding “Dislike” to “Like” is such a binary solution, you’d think a code geek like Zuckerberg would love it. But he’s in no hurry. Right now Facebook users hit “Like” about 4.5 billion times a day. If Facebook suddenly became an environment where billions of times a day people “Dislike” things, it’s a completely changed experience. (For all the sometimes unkind exchanges that take place on Facebook today, it’s still a pretty positive place.) The button Facebook is likely considering is some version of an “EMPATHY” button. A modern translation for EMPATHY might be “I feel you.” It’s hard to “Like” when someone posts that her beloved mother died, or that he just lost his job. But it would be easy to click “EMPATHY.” The “EMPATHY” button would address the problem Zuckerberg described this way: “People share things that are sad, or are tough cultural or social things, and people tell us they are not comfortable pressing ‘like.’” You can’t really “Like” Zuckerberg’s dilemma, but surely you can empathize.