Why Can't You 'Dislike' Anything on Facebook?

In September 2009, CollegeHumor wrote a piece about "4 Awkward Moments in 'Facebook Likes,'" including a post about 43 people "liking" "Kelsea is in the shower." Another featured a mom liking a post about her son's broken dry spell.

Some news stories might also be better left un-"liked."

"Lauren likes 'Girl Shot in Face…'" was probably not what Facebook engineers had in mind when they decided to give people a quick way to say "thumbs up."

To minimize some of that clumsiness, Facebook recently released a plug-in that lets website developers allow visitors to "recommend" content instead of "liking" it. On the site itself, Facebook users can still only "like" or leave an entire comment.

But though there may be demand for a "dislike" button, social media experts say it's doubtful that Facebook would ever release one.

'Dislike' Button Could Be Bad for Business, Social Media Expert Says

"The whole premise of Facebook, the whole revenue base is on the idea that they can monetize the information that people are volunteering to them about their likes and dislikes," Tynan said. It wouldn't look too good if a band of Facebook users started disliking the major brands represented on the site.

Justin Smith, editor of the website Inside Facebook, said a "dislike" button could be inconsistent with the sharing-oriented philosophy that has driven Facebook's success.

"The main issue with adding a "dislike" button is creating the potential for somewhat negative experiences. If content is posted by a user and it ends up being disliked, that might be an experience Facebook might not want to officially support," he said. "It's not out of the question, but I think Facebook would think seriously about it."

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