On Tuesday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted an open letter describing some upcoming changes to Facebook.
The changes involve updated privacy settings and the discontinuation of regional networks (read the open letter here). But judging by the comments, it’s not privacy settings that most users care about.
What the users really want is a dislike button.
This past February Facebook unveiled its “Like” button, which allows friends to give each others’ status updates, Wall comments, photos, etc. a big thumbs up. There is no corresponding thumbs down button. And it seems Facebook users don’t like that one bit.
Here are some typical comments:
please dude make a “dislike” button! everyone wants it!
BUTTTT………Dislike button pleasssee mark!!!
a fail button!
dislike button- hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dislike button!!! thatd definitelyyyyy be awesomeeeeeee!!!
(By the way, the second most commonly requested feature based on these comments? Customizable background graphics/wallpaper and music. MySpace, in other words.)
I vote thumbs down on the dislike button. Its proponents say they need the ability to say that something sucks. And I know we can all learn positive lessons from negative feedback. But I feel like there are already many, many venues to express our dislike of something. Facebook is supposed to be about sharing and connecting, or asking questions.
We’ve certainly had legitimate criticism and negative comments posted to our university’s Facebook page — and that’s totally fine and appropriate. But imagining how a dislike button would affect higher education pages is a bit depressing. What would happen if I posted, say, the upcoming Glee Club concert (sorry, Glee is on) and it’s met with a fistful of downward facing thumbs? Total bummer, man. A dislike button would make it that much easier to toss off a thoughtless, hurtful diss and could turn a community of “fans” into a much sadder place to be.
So no dislike button for me. And no wallpaper while you’re at it, please. I dislike wallpaper.