Why Facebook won’t offer a ‘dislike’ button

Former CTO of the social network explained Facebook’s decision to not users the ability to express discontent through only the click of a button. 

Have you ever seen a post on Facebook that not only did you not “like,” but you actively disliked it?

Perhaps you were frustrated only a “like” function exists for Facebook posts, and no option to “dislike” something publicly and officially.

Well, there’s a reason for that.

Former Facebook CTO Bret Taylor, who currently serves as CEO of the mobile productivity app Quip, told Tech Radar:

[The dislike button] came up a lot. In fact even the language of the word like was something we discussed a lot as well. But regarding the dislike button, the main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences.

Those consequences include the emotions behind disliking something without comment and the potential for using it as cyber-bullying attacks against users. While “likes” not only let individual users know their shared content is cool, brand managers can also use the interaction to reach their audiences. On the other hand, disliking something without comment can seem inappropriate, especially for sensitive posts such as funeral announcements. Taylor continued:

The reason we launched the button in the first place was that there were a lot of times that people wanted to acknowledge something someone did, but didn’t have anything to say. And a lot of comments were one word like ‘cool’ or ‘wow’ so the like button let people (do) that with a single click. It wasn’t really just a sentiment of ‘like’.

There you have it. I supposed there’s no shortage of negativity to go around on the Internet. Why add to that with the option to dislike something without explanation?

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