To Like or Not To Like, THAT is the question

The article below is from The New York Times, and it addresses the upcoming decision that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are planning to make, which is to introduce some form of a “dislike” button. The arguments in favor of introducing such a button are that many posts may be sad in nature (ex. a death, illness, natural disaster), and the current “like” button doesn’t quite capture the sentiment of the user; and it’s always better to have more ways of expressing yourself in a social arena. The potential pitfalls, which Facebook is aware of, are that: 1) Facebook doesn’t want to become a place clouded in negativity and hurt feelings, and 2) companies may be more reluctant to advertise on Facebook in fear of their posts being massively dislike.



My question is in two parts: 1) Do you believe that this decision will have a significant impact on the culture of social media, considering that none of the major social media platforms (facebook, twitter, instagram) have dislike buttons? Or do you think that this decision isn’t really a big deal, considering that there is already ample opportunity for negative sentiment by leaving negative comments. Plus, other sites like Youtube and Funny Or Die have long had a dislike button.

2) If you answered yes to the first part (and you think that the decision will be significant) what do you think the decision should be? Wouldn’t the decision to add such a button take us all down a much more negative path of hurt feelings and anonymous negativity? And wouldn’t that ultimately be a bad thing? Or should social media not be in the business of caring about hurt feelings in the first place?


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