Way back when I first signed up with Facebook, so long ago in digital years I can’t remember the exact year, I proposed the idea of a dislike button. In truth, the idea was just me trying to understand the rules of social media as, it seemed back then, all forms of it were coming at us at once and the rules were confusing.

YouTube had a dislike button. So, in the spirit of free intercourse, wouldn’t a dislike button on Facebook make sense?

Thumbs down on a Facebook dislike button.

Thumbs down on a Facebook dislike button.

But now that Facebook will be rolling out a dislike button, just like I proposed years ago, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea. Now that I’m well versed in social media (as most of us now are), a Facebook dislike button risks making Facebook something it is not: Mean.

I am reasonably active on social media and those who are friends on Facebook know it is my social media outlet of choice. At first, Facebook was a way to re-connect with long-lost friends, then it hit a bit of a lag. But lately, it’s served as a friendly way to keep those friends in my circle and, for the most part, the interactions have been pleasant. I enjoy checking in on people and sharing my experiences with others.

The Facebook dislike button and its relationship to the Facebook brand.

To me, the brand of Facebook is just that. It’s pleasant, friendly and rarely creates the Internet firestorm that some other social media outlets have allowed.

As we’ve all gotten more educated on the use (and drawbacks) of social media, it’s clear that there are a whole lot of trolls out there that can be hurtful and outright offensive in their anonymous responses.

Anyone who is on Twitter has seen that. Even if you haven’t, it’s easy enough to see that kind of discourse in the comments section of just about any article on the Internet. The respondents can be brutal.

Facebook has one advantage that the other outlets don’t: It has no anonymity. That is, these are people you know (unless you make boost a post to make it public) so the comments may not be so nasty. You’ll know who said what.

Now, I’m all for confrontation discourse. I believe candor saves everyone a lot of time and produces the best result.

Candor can still exist on Facebook, and does. But my first thought on hearing of a Facebook dislike button was, “Oh, that’s what the Internet needs. More avenues for people to bitch because there’s isn’t enough of that right now on the Internet.”

Facebook is the refuge from that. We’ll see if the Facebook dislike button changes Facebook.

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