Facebook’s ‘dislike’ button isn’t what it seems
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Signal
Sep 17, 2015
Facebook’s ‘dislike’ button isn’t what it seems

“People have asked about the dislike button for many years,” announced Mark Zuckerberg at an informal Facebook Q&A in September 2015. “Today is a special day, because I can say we’re working on it and shipping it.” Of course, the internet has had something to say about it.

Studies show that online opinion is contagious, and if a like is about signalling approval, would a dislike button be anything more than a shout-out to haters across the world? Popular Science even banned its comment section to quell ‘digital wildfires’ that could potentially harm scientific progression. But Zuckerberg’s comment has been taken a little out of context. This new button is more about empathy than it is about providing a proverbial thumbs down to sit alongside the like’s thumbs up. “If you’re sharing something that’s sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it might not feel comfortable to like that post,” says Zuckerberg. We could all use a little more empathy in the world, right?