Here’s Why There’s No Dislike Button on Facebook


The article mainly discusses why there is no “dislike” button on Facebook. “The main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences,” said Taylor, former Facebook CTO and current Quip CEO, “If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there’s probably a word for what you want to say.” To a large extent, I agree with him.

You might say, since there is “thumbs down” button on music and video websites, why can’t there be “dislike” button on social websites? The reason is that the former has to do with the function of websites. Take music websites for example. If you put a “thumbs up” on a specific song, the website will play this song again more often and also play more songs that are like it. On the contrary, if you put a “thumbs down”, it will never play this song for you again. But the social network is a different story. Here people are friends or want to become friends of each other, and considering disliking indicates negativity, why would you want a place where people can connect, share, and become friends encourage negativity?

Besides the perspective of the user experience, from that of website builders, the probable negative consequences of dislike button are also what they may not want to see. “Like” may encourage users while “dislike” may discourage them. A function threatening users’ enthusiasm obviously doesn’t meet the social network’s goal of increasing users’ activity. That’s probably one of the reasons why Chinese Weibo initially had more “attitude buttons” besides “like” but later abandoned them.

In addition, the article points out the ambiguity of the meaning of “like”, saying that “etiquette can be a little fuzzy”. The study mentioned in the article showing that people “favorite” tweets for as many as 25 different reasons ranging from emotional resonance to an accidental slip, is a statistic proof of it.

Actually, from my point of view, the like button is double-bladed sword. On the one hand, it makes it easy for people to maintain friendship. On the other, however, it is this kind of easiness that turns “hitting the like button” into the laziest way of online interaction. If everyone is too lazy to leave a comment and just click a like, there will be no conversation any more, which is extremely harmful for building a deeper emotional tie with friends or others.

So, what do you think? Should there be dislike or other attitude buttons on Facebook and other social networks?

Zhaoyu Zhu


3 thoughts on “Here’s Why There’s No Dislike Button on Facebook

  1. Good article… I think you should be able to use it for fan pages, business brands and other non personal pages. I can see the point in the dislike button bring a hate or negative environment.

    • I agree. It’s properer to see the dislike button as a functional stuff, which is more suitable for non personal pages. Fan pages, business brands, etc are good choices to try it.

  2. I don’t think the Dislike button is a functionality Facebook will incorporate any time soon (although they did release it on the messenger app about a year ago but it’s gone). In staying with positive social interactions there are a lot of sticker inserts that add sentiment besides just “Like” but I think the bigger picture is having a Dislike feature doesn’t sit well, not only with potential cyber bullying, but from an Advertising perspective. The connotation a dislike presents or a negative impact on the user experience wouldn’t serve Companies well –Opening up exposure toward having posts disliked, versus a user writing a comment to explain their opinion (as the article mentioned). I think that’s why Facebook has shied away from it — the unwanted negativity that comes from a Dislike button is something they don’t want to get into.

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