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Facebook to add 'dislike' button

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In a recent Q&A session held at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will finally have a "dislike" button.

However, this is not a button to be clicked on should someone literally dislike something that they have just read.

Instead, according to Mr Zuckerberg, it should be used to show empathy, for example if one wants to express sadness for a friend who just suffered a loss.

BBC News reported that this 'dislike' button has been constantly requested for since the 'like' button was first introduced in 2009.

Mr Zuckerberg, 31, said on Tuesday (Sept 15): "People have asked about the 'dislike' button for many years.

"Probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it."

According to TIME, Mr Zuckerberg made it clear that he didn't want people to use this button to "down-vote" on posts.

The 'dislike' button is an alternative for times when it feels insensitive to click on the 'like' button on sad posts, he said.


Fortune reported that previously, Mr Zuckerberg (above) had told the public that the social network wasn't planning to build a "dislike" button as it would invite rampant negativity.

For now, the exact form that the 'dislike' button will take is still not confirmed.

Mr Zuckerberg said: "What (users) really want is the ability to express empathy.

"Not every moment is a good moment." 

Professor Andre Forte, a social and participatory media expert at Drexel University in Philadelphia told BBC News that she doesn't forsee users turning on each other's posts.

She said: "They may use a dislike button to express some negative emotions (like frustration with ads popping up in their feeds) but I doubt it will cause them to start wantonly disliking pictures of their friends' babies, dogs, cats and cooking experiments.

"I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss."

Source: BBC News, TIME, Fortune

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