Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why I Would Dislike a "Dislike Button"

For months FaceBook (FB) users have been bugging FB to add a "Dislike Button" and for months FB has refused to relent to their pleas.  Even a quick scan of FaceBook's official blog shows that they are not discussing it (at least in public - I'm sure that they are inside the FB headquarters).

I would never pretend to know what they are thinking at FB headquarters, but if I had to guess it would be something like this...

Adding a "Dislike Button" may seem like a good idea on the surface, but would only cause problems in the long run.  The way I see it, the purpose of a "Like Button" gives FB users a way to give props to someone or to agree with something someone says.  It's a simple, friendly way of showing support or just casual interest in a FB post, picture, video, comment or anything else you can "like".

If you add a "Dislike Button" now it becomes something completely different.

Now it becomes a "vote" and it turns everyone into a critic and every item on FB into an issue.  If Joe posts a picture of his puppy on his profile he could come back a day or so later and find out that it has a negative rating!  Add to that...now...your "Like" gets canceled out by someone else's "Dislike" and it counts for nothing...

Which brings up the big problem - give everyone the choice of  "like" AND "dislike" and it is now a rating system - that is completely different than what it is now.

I say keep the "Like Button" and forget about a "Dislike Button" - when you choose to "like" a FB post you give it your props - if you don't you didn't.  It works, but now it's not a negative exercise...

Also, remember, that in the end FaceBook is going to do what they want - I, for one, hope they just leave it alone.

P.S. 11/5/2009
Mashable posted  information about a Firefox plug-in that will give you a "dislike button".  If you read closely, it sounds like Mashable doesn't like the "dislike button" idea either... 

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18