If you use Facebook, you know there is a Like button you can click on to show you like, support, approve or think positively of it in some way. There is no Dislike button, probably to keep the social experience positive, among other reasons. However, this lack of a Dislike button isn’t serving the need on identifying true social public opinion on any matter that might be controversial. If all you ever saw were all the people who Liked something controversial, how would you ever know how many people might Dislike it like in a real poll?
I know Facebook didn’t intend the Like button to be used as a poll, but Facebook didn’t intend for a lot of things to be misused, either. Can you say POKE?
Fact of the matter is people are using, and judging, Likes that anything gets as a measure of its social approval value. For some things, that’s fine. There’s no need to see if people Dislike it. But for anything controversial, and LOTS of things are, a DISLike button would serve to enhance the experience for the user, not degrade it.
Let’s take that idea someone had to have Christian Bale, the star of The Dark Knight Rises, visit young victims of that shooting in Aurora, Colorado in full Batman outfit. It got lots of Like votes by users, but many, if not most of the comments, were on how stupid the idea was (which I completely agree with because of that costumed part). Problem is, as hard to believe as it may sound, taking the time to write a little comment is a big leap from hitting a Dislike button, not the least because you’d be swamped with notifications of other comments coming for days, if not weeks, on end. So how are you supposed to get a true sense if people really thought it were a good or bad idea? Go find a Christian Bale Should NOT Visit Aurora Victims in Batman Outfit Facebook page and see how many people Liked it???
What kind of preposterous solution is that??? Someone would have had to feel strongly enough about the matter to set one up in the first place! And it would sound very silly!
Now, some may say the Dislike button may be used for cyber-bullying. Yes, that is true. I’ve thought about that, and to that I say have the option that people could turn off the presence of a Dislike button. Let them do it universally on anything they create that is not publicly visible to everyone, but make them do it on an item by item basis for anything public.
I propose universal settings for anything within your own profile because it is your profile so you should be able to enjoy it with some peace of mind. As shallow as your friendship may be with some of your Facebook friends, you probably don’t keep them if they abuse your profile contents a lot, so why deal with any potential little abuses here or there? Just enjoy the experience like Facebook intends you to.
However, for anything you’re going to be putting out publicly, you’re essentially sticking your neck out to promote something. To be fair and accountable, then, you’re going to have to show the world if you’ve got the confidence to see if the world would approve of it… and think about it before putting it out there. That’s something a lot of people simply don’t do these days given all the little Facebook faux-pas we hear of all the time. Comments against your idea that you can get now might be nasty, but it’s nothing like a true public disapproval for everyone to see if you got more Dislike clicks than Likes! Very few will sift through all the comments to see if people really approve or don’t approve, but everyone will immediately see a tally if both the Like and Dislike buttons were present. See how it feels with a public disapproval constantly seen by anyone new coming to whatever you’ve put out there!
And should you choose not to show both buttons, you should not get a chance to do so later. That’d be cheating, like getting the Like voters to get a head start, or shutting off the Dislike voters as they get overwhelming, and late visitors, or revisitors, would never know.
One final thing. Just about every other social media service allows Dislike sort of buttons. You can Dislike this post. Why isn’t Facebook getting with it? There’s nothing innovative about not having a Dislike button!
I’m hoping they’ll listen, or change their mind as I’m sure they’ve been through the discussion many a times.
As a side ending, I’m glad Christian Bale visited the victims of the Aurora shooting, but as himself, not Batman. It was the costume part that I thought was really stupid in that controversial suggestion online, not the actor visiting. Real classy act, Mr Bale!
See my other Facebook News, Issues and Concerns posts here (including the Translation Feature they finally put in place!).