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A long time ago, I wrote a short bit on why I wanted to be able to dislike comments on Facebook (and anywhere else for that matter). In my mind (at the time) I was trying to put across the point that we live in a world where we are not allowed to be negative for fear of offending people.
My vision of a dislike button would have lead to a world where the useless or unhelpful crap that filled much of social media could be slowly trained out. By that I mean that trolls and the like would learn that if everything they post can be disliked and hidden, that they would just crawl away and die.
How very utopian of me.
The reality is going to be far worse for the average user than it is for the trolls – as the trolls will rule the button. Any user who posts a food pic, or a truly emotional cry for help, or something honest, will be a target. Trolls and less kind individuals will be able to passively say “we think you are irrelevant” just by clicking a button.
Just look at YouTube, where personal vendettas are played out by disliking everything a certain person may produce – not because it is not good, just because they don’t like the person.
If a dislike butting was just going to be used by nice people, it would be a great way to tidy up the social web. Sadly, it is always the minority voice of the nasty that is loudest and most noticable on the web these days.