It’s a common enough phenomenon on social media – someone posts about the death of their close relative or pet, or a natural disaster resulting in the deaths of thousands of people, and right underneath it you see a pretty disturbing figure: “48 people like this.” We all know it doesn’t literally mean that. Rather, it’s just a quirk of Facebook‘s user interface, but it’s a quirk whose days are numbered thanks to the approaching roll-out of the long-awaited Dislike button.
The Dislike button was confirmed by Mark Zuckerberg at one of his town hall meetings held recently:
“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it.”
Zuckerberg made it clear that the Dislike button won’t be a pathway to Reddit-style up-and-down-votes in the future, instead saying it will be used to “express empathy.”
You can read more about the upcoming Facebook Dislike button over at The Verge right here. In the meantime, try to continue expressing empathy along the usual channels. Cards and phone calls are nice.