Facebook Is Creating an Empathy Button Instead of a ‘Dislike’ Button
Have you ever been in a situation when you just can’t decide whether to ‘Like’ a post on Facebook or not? When you come across a post in which a person is feeling depressed or some huge tragedy happened or some family member of a person passed away, you know what I am talking about. So, when you come across these posts, what is your first reaction? You feel sorry for that person. But then the actual turmoil comes. You cannot decide whether to like that post or not because if you do, it would seem like you like the situation that person is in and if you don’t, it would seem like the post is not important to you.
So, what to do in these situations?
Well, do not worry because Facebook is taking care of that for you. TechCrunch reported that Mark Zuckerberg announced today that an empathy button is under construction and in a few days it will come out to the public.
It will NOT be a ‘dislike’ button because that would seriously create negative vibes in the Facebook community. This new button will just convey that we understand and feel sad about the situation that the person is in.
Here is the full transcript of what Mark Zuckerberg said in the public Q/A:
You know, I think people have asked about the Dislike button for many years and probably hundreds of people have asked about this. Today is a special day because today is the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.
You know, it took us awhile to get here. Because you know, we didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create. You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that’s important to you in your day and then have someone down vote it. That isn’t what we’re here to build in the world.
But over the years of people asking for this, what we’ve kind of come to understand is that people aren’t looking an ability to downvote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy.
Not every moment is a good moment, right? And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member past away, then it might not feel comfortable to Like that post. But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you.
So I do think that it’s important to give people more options than just Like as a quick way to emote and share what they’re feeling on a post, so we’ve been working on this for awhile. It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that you want to be that simple. But we have an idea that we think we’re going to be ready to test soon, and depending on how that does, we’ll roll it out more broadly.
But thank you for all the feedback on this over the years. I think we’ve finally heard you and we’re working on this and hopefully we will deliver something that meets the needs of our community