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The Dislike Button – I was wrong

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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.

 


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6 Responses

  1. Dread Knight Dread Knight says:

    So you would prefer not to have a downvote button on youtube nowadays? ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s an idea, I think you’re very right with what you said.

  2. I think the best treatment for trolls is to ignore them. I think many of them know they are doing something negative, that they are posting useless or harmful stuff. But they do it to call attention. And if they get a lot of dislikes, probably most of them will feel they are accomplishing their goal and will keep on. In this sense, that is probably the reason why facebook has a few options to ignore things. Apart from totally unfriending someone, you can also block specific types of posts. That way you have a few options to give a silent treatment to anyone who is annoying you.

  3. It’s a nice idea if you can control the trolls. Some mechanics might help (burn down timers for example) but of course they would likely find ways to game. Perhaps you could limit the number of dislikes available on a 20 to 1 type ratio vs positive likes. Perhaps certain actions and behaviours drive unlocking of dislike ability.

    It depends on how you define useful, just cause ‘charlie bit my finger’ is popular doesn’t mean it has any value ๐Ÿ™‚

    • And there in lies the issue. If, for example, I have a public wobble (like I did the other week). I got some amazing responses from people that really helped. Trolls don’t tend to have the balls to be directly negative – but if they could just click a button that basically says “I do not feel you are of value” – how the hell does that make the recipient feel at a vulnerable moment!

  4. What do you think? Should we be able to dislike everything on the internet, or does that give far too much power to the trolls? Does reddit show the way for instance?

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Andrzej Marczewski
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Gamification Consultant. I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

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