The dystopia of Dislike: Why Facebook will never use the D-word

Mark Zuckerberg in October 2014. Image: Achmad Ibrahim/Associated Press By Chris Taylor 2 days ago Opinion You could...

Ap_603041650033


Mark Zuckerberg in October 2014.
Image: Achmad Ibrahim/Associated Press
You could almost hear the heavy sigh from Mark Zuckerberg's PR handlers Tuesday. The Facebook founder has never been the most clear or confident public speaker, and not only was his answer to a question from the public about a possible Dislike button peppered with his usual "um"s and "you know"s, it was also internally contradictory and confusing.
On the one hand, Zuckerberg said this: "Today is a special day because today’s the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it and we’re very close to shipping a test of it," where "it" was clearly referring to a Dislike button. (You can watch the video here.)
On the other hand, he added a sentence later: "We didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts ... what they really want is to be able to express empathy ... we have an idea that we think we’re going to be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does, we’ll roll it out more broadly."
The PR handlers helpfully sent around emails with those latter quotes highlighted.
So what does this mean? It means there's going to be a Dislike button tested on Facebook, but it won't have that name. The name won't go anywhere near the D-word, in fact. (I'm also willing to bet it won't go anywhere near the E-word, because having a button marked "Empathy" on every post is the quickest way to make Facebook's 1.25 billion users think they've actually signed up for a California cult — which, in a sense, they have.)
But what exactly is wrong with naming a button Dislike? I've seen this crop up a few times in online discussions around the prospect. There are quite a few folks out there — probably the same ones who think it's clever to comment "where's the Dislike button!" every time you post an update with sad news — who insist that feelings would not get hurt, or that if they are, the effect would be minor and people would just have to get over themselves.
If you are one of those people,
let me take you on a walk through the dystopian hellscape Facebook would become if it added a button named Dislike.
let me take you on a walk through the dystopian hellscape Facebook would become if it added a button named Dislike. It isn't just about up-or-down voting, though Zuckerberg was right to bring that up. (The two online communities most famously associated with up/down voting buttons are Reddit and the YouTube comments section — possibly the most Mad Max-like wasteland on the Internet.)
It's about huge helpings of some other D-words: Drama. Discord. Divisiveness.
Just picture the drama inherent in these situations:
  • You post a relationship status update with your new boyfriend/girlfriend. Very quickly, your old boyfriend/girlfriend, who still hasn't gotten over you, hits the Dislike button. "One person has disliked this," says Facebook. Quickly, all your other friends click to see who it is. Awkward.
  • A friend posts a picture of herself in a new dress. Someone Dislikes it. Your friend is later found crying in the bathroom, vowing to never post a selfie to Facebook again.
  • A parent posts a baby picture. Someone Dislikes it. Cue outrage and a round of unfriending.
  • A well-known and controversial celebrity — let us say his name rhymes with "Neeber" — suddenly discovers his Page has more Dislikes than Likes after a viral campaign is shockingly successful. He quits Facebook in tears. The haters celebrate — but the whole incident has a chilling effect on other celebrities, who start quietly backing out of the social network for fear the Internet mob might turn on them next.
  • Brands start backing out for the same reason. Facebook's revenue plummets, and suddenly your news feed is covered with crappy little ads for "this one weird trick."
  • Your crazy uncle posts a fawning article about Donald Trump. The rest of your family Dislikes it. Suddenly everyone is shouting in the comments section and you feel yourself visibly shrinking away from it all with the horrific realization that Facebook has suddenly become a year-round Thanksgiving table.
  • A friend's grandmother dies. She posts about it. You hit the Dislike button — rather too quickly, as you suddenly realize when you click the "read more" button and discover the post turns into an uplifting eulogy celebrating her long and happy life. You are forced to write a comment explaining that you actually meant to Dislike death, but you also Like life, ha ha. Nobody responds. You spend the rest of the day feeling like a horrible person.
The big question remains: What word, or collection of words, will Facebook use for this empathy button instead? If it is to be the "I feel your pain" button, or something similar, will the bottom of posts now say something like "23 people have felt this pain?" Will that then lead to a new kind of pressure on everyone reading the post — because hey, who doesn't want to say they empathize with a friend or loved one who's going through tough times?
I look forward to finding out how Facebook threads this needle, almost as much as I look forward to hearing how Zuckerberg is going to explain it next time.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Related

Technology 2565170564131480503

Đăng nhận xét

emo-but-icon

loading...

SHARE THIS

Shopping Online

Lazada Promote

VIDEO

Hot in week

Recent

Comments

Recent


SHOPPING NOW

AD NOW 0936.063.769

Bài đăng phổ biến[slider]

Sticky Widget


Connect Us

InstaForex.com

Ads >>

Sticky[slider]

Get mail - Get money!

item