Facebook Dislikes the Dislike Button 8

We’ve been talking a lot about Facebook this week. The site hit 500 million users on Wednesday and has become a sheer force in our digitally obsessed society. Earlier this spring Facebook made the “Like” button universally available across the world wide web, not just on their own site. Brands and businesses have incorporated the “Like” functionality into their own websites to visually demonstrate customer support. While there was a great deal of buzz about the expanded reach of the “Like” button, there has also been a storm brewing around the concept of a “Dislike” button.

I for one would like to see Facebook add a “Dislike” button. If I can express my support for something so easily, why can’t I express my opposition or distaste? There are nearly 3.2 million people that agree with me who belong to a Facebook group called “Dislike Button.”

There are a few obvious reasons why Facebook has held off: first, there is potential for bullying and hurtful use of the proposed “dislike” button. While I would like to think Facebook users are capable of using the “dislike” button wisely, I am sure there are users that would be abusive.

A second reason is highlighted in a new column by Mashable founder and CEO Pete Cashmore for CNN. In his most recent column, Cashmore explains that the “dislike” button opens door for users to negatively impact the brands and businesses that use Facebook for marketing and promotions. He writes:

“Facebook will never add a Dislike button because it would damage the company’s relationships with brands, businesses and web publishers — these groups are essential for building both web traffic and ad revenue.”

While Cashmore makes a strong point that Facebook does not want to alienate the primary source of its revenue, Facebook has also been known to respond to strong user feedback.

Who do you think will win this debate? Are you on team Like or Dislike?

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