We've all been there. Someone posts an update on Facebook, you can't think of anything meaningful to write beneath it, but just 'liking' it would convey a very different message to "I'm so sorry to hear this sad news." If only there were a 'dislike' button.
It's something that's come up time and time again, and interestingly it was actually a hot topic during the creation of the Facebook 'like'. We know because the creator of the 'like' and ex-Facebook CTO Bret Taylor (currently CEO of mobile productivity app Quip), told us himself. But he also explained why there never was one, and probably never will be one: it's just far too complex.
"[The dislike button] came up a lot. In fact even the language of the word like was something we discussed a lot as well. But regarding the dislike button, the main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences."
"The reason we launched the button in the first place was that there were a lot of times that people wanted to acknowledge something someone did, but didn't have anything to say. And a lot of comments were one word like 'cool' or 'wow' so the like button let people did that with a single click. It wasn't really just a sentiment of 'like'."
Haters gonna hate
But a 'dislike' button wouldn't work in the same way, said Taylor, and would only bring a lot of negativity with it instead. There could be implications on cyber bullying, for example.
"I have the feeling that if there were to be a 'dislike' button is that you would end up with these really negative social aspects to it. If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there's probably a word for what you want to say.
"I'm not saying the 'like' button isn't flawed would it be even more complex with a negative sentiment like 'dislike'."
It's also worth mentioning that a 'dislike' button wouldn't be as useful as the 'like' for Facebook's targeted advertising, but that's just us being slightly cynical.
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Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.
Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.