Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg wants people to be able to quickly express broader ranges of feelings at the leading online social network, but a "dislike" button doesn't make the cut. During a question-and-answer session with an audience at the Facebook headquarters in Northern California, available online yesterday, Zuckerberg gave a thumbs-down to the idea of a button to register disdain for posts at the social network.
"That's not something that we think is good for the world," Zuckerberg said, expressing concern that "like" and "dislike" buttons could turn into a voting system to judge posts. "The thing that I think is very valuable is that there are more sentiments that people want to express."
While Facebook's well-known thumbs-up "like" buttons let people easily show support or enthusiasm for posts, some folks think the sentiment seems off-target for somber subjects such as news of death or other sadness in the lives of friends.
"We are talking about a right way for people to easily express a broader array of emotions," Zuckerberg said, giving examples such as empathy, surprise, or laughter. No changes along those lines were on the immediate horizon. "We need to figure out the right way to do it so that it is a force for good and not a force for bad in demeaning the posts that people are putting out there."
Facebook would also risk irking advertisers by giving members a quick way to tag marketing messages with "dislikes," according to analysts. Zuckerberg noted that Facebook members are free to comment on posts, but can wind up feeling pressured to be witty or insightful.