Morons reporting Facebook is getting a dislike button are wrong, but it is getting something new

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Baaa!
Shaun the Sheep

Demonstrating once again the pathetic nature of many “journalists” in not even attempting to confirm a story, various media outlets (including respected ones) reported Tuesday that Facebook was getting a dislike button.

While a feature that has been asked for by users of the social networking giant going back years, there’s a serious problem with the news: it’s simply not true.

Facebook is, however, about to test a new feature which, while not named formally by Facebook yet, has been, at least by those in the media with the sense to watch the video of Mark Zuckerberg speaking about it, is being described as either an empathy or sympathy button.

So bad is the media reporting on the forthcoming feature that Zuckerberg actually made the point of saying it wasn’t a dislike button, explaining that Facebook wasn’t the sort of service where you wanted people downvoting things like precious family moments.

“Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something that is sad, like the refugee crisis that touches you, or a family member passed away, it may not feel comfortable to like that post,” Zuckerberg said. “But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you. So I do think it’s important to give people more options than just like as a quick way to emote and share what they are feeling on a post.”

“We have been working on this for a while,” Zuckerberg continued. “It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that you want to be that simple. We have an idea that we think we’re going to be ready to test soon. And depending on how it does, we’ll roll it out more broadly.”

Right track

While we’ll have to see exactly how Facebook implements the new feature, Zuckerberg’s points are dead on track: how many times would you have seen a post on Facebook where you wanted to express support but liking it seems inappropriate; for example, I know someone on Facebook currently battling cancer who was attending hospital again for chemotherapy: do you give a thumbs up “like” that she’s battling cancer and could die?

We can only hope that when it does roll out that it offered across all of Facebook’s interfaces as the company is notorious for ignoring Android users and rolling out new features to them last, sometimes if at all.

The video of what Mark Zuckerberg actually said as follows.

Image credit: jesper/Flickr/CC by 2.0