SHOULD WE LIKE THE IDEA OF A FACEBOOK 'DISLIKE' BUTTON?
Written on the 16 September 2015 by Laura Daquino
IF the founder of Australia's most engaged with brand on social media doesn't think a Facebook 'dislike' button is a good idea, then should the rest of the business community?
Brisbane Business News asked a couple of local business owners what they thought about Facebook's latest announcement to roll out a 'dislike' button.
Sarah Timmerman (pictured), founder of fast fashion online store Beginning Boutique, which this year took out the top spot in Australia for social media engagement ahead of Audi and BMW, says a 'dislike' button 'is not a great idea'.
"Basically you are encouraging trolling in a world where there are no repercussions for bullying and saying things that you would never say in person," says Timmerman.
"I think it's just another excuse for people to be rude online. People don't need a dislike button to tell us when they don't like something."
Jason Roulston, co-founder of Brisbane-based digital recruitment agency JustDigitalPeople.com.au, takes a different view.
"I think a dislike button would be awesome, it would help us all create a genuine balance of the opinion of the people across all the different types of media that's pushed down our feeds every day," he says.
"At the same time I feel Facebook purposely ranks positive comments on certain posts higher just because they can and want to have control of the vibe across their platform."
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has seemingly wrestled with 'like' button's appropriateness for some time now.
"A lot of times people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives, or are tough cultural or social things," he said at a December 2014 press conference.
"In this case, the 'like' button is certainly not appropriate."
The posts Zuckerberg is talking about have traditionally welcomed 'comment' over 'click'.
With Facebook's current algorithm sending high-engagement content to the top of news feeds, too many negative users at any one time could mean the website soils its reputation as a positive place for friends to connect.
A 'dislike' button could break a most basic component in Facebook's algorithm and raise the possibility of users spending less time on the network, to the detriment of brands trying to sell products.
In saying that though, Facebook has the power to change its algorithm at any time, and it knows it would be in its very worst interests to lose revenue-driving business accounts.
Perhaps there is something more fundamentally concerning then.
The ability to simply 'dislike' a heartfelt or horrific post like that photo last week and not properly engage and connect could push us further away from what it means to be human.
In a world where we are lonelier than ever, where hearty 'likes' and starry 'favourites' feign connections, commenting is now thought to show a deeper measure of consideration.
Could a 'dislike' button be a step backwards in emotional intelligence? The beginning of a demise into dystopia?