The like button is valuable because it’s a quick way to share a positive sentiment. Some people have asked for a dislike button so they can say something isn’t good, and we’re not going to do that. I don’t think that’s good for the community.
– Mark Zuckerberg
It is obvious that Mark Zuckerberg is not Finnish or even Singaporean for that matter. If Facebook would have dislike button, the usage would soar in certain countries. Disliking is much more honest act than boring liking. I would love to dislike all the boring status updates in my feed. Hiding the users seems so permanent. Dislike would be like yellow card in football: no more those inane updates or you get booted. I think the people would appreciate that as well: sometimes we get blinded by our own excellence that we don´t realize that it is not interesting in a larger scale at all.
The thing I think are really valuable is there are more sentiments just than people like something. There are things in people’s lives that are sad, or that or tragic, and people don’t want to Like them. We’ve talked about for a while how can people express a wider range of emotions like surprise.
– Mark Zuckerberg
Disdain, hate and anger are valid human emotions and Facebook has missed an opportunity because people cannot express them. The force-fed positivity of Facebook makes you like photos of people presenting their meat trophies and showing off their boring holiday pictures. Occasional dislike would put them on check and remind them that they are not so special.
Not to mention like Zuckerberg already pointed out, you can use like-button for bad purposes as well. Someone updates that he got divorced, like it. Cat has died, like it. Someone has gotten a tropical disease, like it.
How evil is that behavior?
Like is the lightest-weight way to express positive sentiment. I don’t think adding a light-weight way to express negative sentiment wou ld be that valuable.
– Facebook engineer Bob Baldwin
Why it would not be valuable?
At least dislike is honest representation of true human feeling: I do not really approve your message. You cannot be positive all the time.
Of course it might be cruel to people as not everyone has been growing their thick skin in real life, where you might get negative comments occasionally as well. It might also read to cyber-bullying and other abuse, which you cannot escape in Facebook in any case. So it will be unlikely (no pun intended) that we will get dislike button for Facebook users anytime soon. However, there is a special group that would really need the dislike:
Brands & Facebook advertisements
Dislike would be even more helpful for the brands than like. Majority of people liking comments from the brand are just waiting promotions, working in agencies or cannot read. Dislike button would be a real-time barometer of how people feel about your ads. Brands cannot get upset. Brands cannot be bullied or abused. Dislike button would show the reality for many brands. Currently as people cannot really show their true (negative) feelings in Facebook, brands have too rosy picture of the current state of their brand. Dislike button would be a much-needed reality check for the affectivity of your ads and measure for real human sentiment. It would evolve the Facebook ads to real-time research and would maybe be a business opportunity for Facebook.
I cannot wait to start disliking different brands in Facebook.