Why the Facebook ‘dislike’ button would’ve been terrible for cyberbullying


The news media recently exploded when reports surfaced that Facebook was developing a “dislike” button. TechCrunch then clarified that the story had been misreported—instead of developing a “dislike” button, Facebook is instead developing an “empathy” button. The latter of the two would supposedly would allow users an easier way to give their condolences when it comes to posts about difficult matters, such as the death of a loved one.


Many people still, however, believe that Facebook that is developing a “dislike” button. And a number of Twitter users are sharing mixed feelings about the prospect of displaying disapproval with a swift click.

I personally let out a sigh of relief when the story’s details were clarified, but not because I was worried about subtle shade from my friends in the form of a thumbs down. The “dislike” button would have made it even easier to cyberbully people on Facebook.

When I initially heard about the “dislike” button, a lump formed in my throat. I thought back to myself as at ten, eleven, thirteen. I thought about when some kid chopped up the back of my sweatshirt because he didn’t like me. I thought about when two girls put me in a headlock and doused me with water. I thought about the nasty rumors spread about me, and the alienation and despair I constantly felt. How many people would have “disliked” me then?

All of these events took place before the prospect of the “dislike” button, and such a feature will only continue to encourage harmful and dangerous behavior. While Facebook users have been pushing for the introduction of a “dislike” option for years, I doubt the company will ever introduce it—because of the undeniably mean-spirited nature of the concept. What the “dislike” button would have done is make cyberbullying on Facebook even easier and hold people less accountable for their actions.  – Daily Dot