In a report from Everett Rosenfeld at CNBC, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that after quite some time and what has to be millions if not hundreds of millions of people’s longing for it, a “dislike” button may be coming to Facebook.
“Dislike” next to “Like”?
You can certainly understand why Facebook has shied away from putting a “dislike” button on its site. For years, Facebook and its CEO have maintained that they want to keep the social network positive but depending who you follow it often isn’t. I’ve seen some horrible things that surely deserve a “dislike” in the last day alone I would have loved to have at that as an option when looking at two kids, neither of which older than six(?), in a photo taken next to their dead brother in an open coffin. The mother who posted it explained that it was meant to show the evils of addiction but honestly, I truly disliked it. The 200th time I saw that young child dead in the sand I would have used it, never mind someone sharing Fox News all day on my News Feed.
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I understand why Facebook has been reluctant but it is about free speech isn’t it. Now, I’m near certain that most ads and sponsored posts, a major source of revenue for Facebook, won’t have the option but I guess we will find out together.
“People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it,” said Mr. Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg also suggested that a dislike interaction is “surprisingly complicated” to create. I’m no spring chicken as a result I wasn’t born yesterday and by consequence I have a very hard time believing that a “dislike” button needs testing or isn’t something that could be worked out in a matter of days. But I get his point when he speaks to the potential for negativity.
“That doesn’t seem like the kind of community that we want to create: You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that was important to you in your day and have someone ‘downvote’ it,” he said clearly speaking to an option on Reddit.
Zuckerberg on virtual reality
He also took the time in his Q&A to speak of the work that Facebook is doing with VR company Oculus which it purchased last year. He spoke to the benefits of VR explaining that the technology involved is “not only going to be things that are in the world, but you’ll be able to experience things that aren’t even possible to experience in the world.”
Finally, Zuckerberg spoke to the negatives for the future of virtual reality and frankly its dangers in the eyes of many technologists and the possibilities of it ending the human race (I exaggerate).
“I think that it’s a little dangerous to be too negative about the prospect of something long term when all signs point to that over the next 10, 20, 30 years—whatever it is—we’re going to unlock all this value and help people’s lives so much by developing this technology,” he said. “So I’m an optimist.”