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Is The Facebook Dislike Button An Error Of Judgement?

In the aftermath of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) finally introducing a dislike button, all manner of users of the social media site and tech commentators have had their say on this innovation. It is certainly not a snap decision made by the social media giant, as some users have been pushing for the inclusion of a dislike button for many years. It seems that Mark Zuckerberg has finally bowed to public pressure.

Facebook Dislike Button

Facebook Dislike Button - Online negativity

Zuckerberg has already had to field allegations that this would lead to yet more online negativity; not something that is in short supply! Zuckerberg suggested that the dislike button would be a way of supporting the viewpoints of friends, rather than a trolling mechanism. But considering the way that dislikes have worked on other prominent websites such as YouTube, it seems highly unlikely that this new mechanism will be utilized for positive means alone. Surely disliking something is negative by its very nature…

But aside from the prospect of yet more pointless online bile, there have been more serious issues raised in relation to the Facebook dislike option. Although Facebook has achieved probably the widest demographic of any social media platform, it must still be emphasized that this is primarily a website for young people. Indeed, there can be massive social pressure placed on high school and college students to set up a Facebook page, as parodied by an infamous South Park episode.

It is suggested in this context that the dislike button could then play an unfortunate role in potential cyber-bullying. Experts on schooling have already commented that the dislike button could be utilized for social exclusion and bullying, obviously already a huge area of concern with regard to young people. As the seemingly relentless cult of popularity in American high schools in particular shows no sign of abating, there is the suggestion that Facebook could have made a negative contribution...