‘Like’, ‘Dislike’, and ‘Likeable’

Rumors on Facebook updates are not new, but the one that never ceases to die is the ‘arrival’ of the ‘Dislike’ button. But here is a good news for Facebook aficionados out there – The largest social media platform has finally come up with the much awaited ‘Dislike’ button. But it’s not where everyone expected it would be. While Facebook confirmed regarding the testing of thumbs-down buttons, it doesn’t mean we would soon get the oft-requested ‘Dislike’ button on our News Feeds. The ‘Dislike’ button is currently available only on Messenger Apps, and not on News Feeds. It’s a thumbs-down emoji, the equivalent of a ‘Dislike’ button.

The elusive new feature has been rolled out to a small number of users who can use the emoji to respond to individual messages. For fear of being misused, the social media giant had constantly ignored the call for ‘Dislike’ buttons. The much-popular ‘Like’ button was launched in 2009, and since then users across the world have been requesting for its counterpart: the ‘Dislike’ button. It’s true that some posts, images, and statuses warrant ‘Dislikes’ replies. But dislike is never a positive, and might even get misused to clog a person’s or brands page with an avalanche of dislikes, turning them into cesspools. The ‘Like’ button doesn’t really mean we like a post of a status. It’s a kind of acknowledgement. But when it comes to sad and disgusting posts, confusion mounts up. Those are the times we wish for a ‘Dislike’ button to express our displeasure and disagreement, or to downvote them. But looks like Facebook team won’t easily give into our demands.

The presence of thumbs down button will foster immense amount of negativity. It will be misinterpreted as an indictment of the brand or user who posts a message or shares an article. It can even down several paid ads. Negativities will drive users and brands away. Simply put, it can turn Facebook will turn into a platform where people and brands fear to step into.

That said, what Facebook needs immediately is not a ‘Dislike’ option or a slew of reaction buttons. It needs a team of expert moderators with expertise in high-end technologies that help remove posts, images, comments, and so on that are brimming with unreasonable hatred, pedophilia, pornography, racism, and violence. Facebook or Twitter, content moderation is far from perfect now. Problems of hate speeches, trolling, vitriolic posts, bullying, threats, and other harassments are perennial. With growing number of users and staggering number of content (both text and images), the entire moderation efforts of humans or usage of conventional technology tools are not even equivalent to a drop in the ocean. The need of the hour is cutting-edge and scalable software tools with high-end technologies like artificial intelligence that identify and quarantine obscene and sensitive content as quickly as possible.

P.S. – Not a week has gone past since the private pictures of some well-known celebrities were leaked online. Not a month has gone by since a woman posted a malicious comment about a terminally ill five-year-old. When will social media platforms take effective steps to flush out offensive content and clean up their pages? ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ buttons are not as indispensable as clean and kid-friendly content.


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