Admit it: you’ve wished for a Dislike button on Facebook.
Maybe it’s when your religious wingnut cousin posts an article that “proves” evolution is wrong, or when a self-pitying colleague moans about being overworked and under-appreciated, or when your former drinking buddy posts incessantly about his newborn baby’s latest bodily function.
It would be so handy to have a clickable passive-aggressive way to tell your annoying friends to shut the hell up.
Unfortunately, the Dislike button won’t become a reality anytime soon, according to a Facebook insider.
Project engineer Bob Baldwin, who has developed a number of Facebook’s enduring features (and whose own profile boasts a respectable 70,000 “followers”), addressed the idea of a Dislike button during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session this week.
Facebook, it seems, is trying to discourage negativity:
“Like is the lightest-weight way to express positive sentiment,” he wrote. “I don’t think adding a light-weight way to express negative sentiment would be that valuable.”
Passive-positive is fine, passive-aggressive is not.
If, on the other hand, you want to empathize with a friend by Disliking some unfortunate status update — the death of a loved one, for instance, or a fender-bender — you’re probably better off just typing a message of condolence, Baldwin said.
While there’s a Firefox add-on that purports to enable a Dislike function on Facebook, nearly all of the 268 reviews on the download page indicate it doesn’t work.
So until the creative minds at Facebook become universally grumpy and disgruntled (it’s bound to happen), we’re unlikely to see a Dislike button.
In the meantime, we can just seethe in solitary hatred over stupid Facebook statuses.