Wow! Facebook just added a dislike button! That’s amazing, to see the mega-social net finally bowing to user requests to… um… oh. Nope. It’s not a “dislike” button like that, it’s more an “unlike” facility for Pages. Still…baby steps, eh?
The addition of an “unlike” to Facebook’s new pages may seem like a minor tweak–after all, one can already easily deselect the “like” option when one has accidentally professed enthusiasm for an incorrect status update, image, and what not on the social net. But the change is actually quite big.
Firstly, it used to be relatively tricky to dig through Facebook’s settings to “un-fan” something you were previously a “fan” (in Facebook’s sense) of. Now it’s simply a case of going to the new Facebook Page for the topic in question and selecting “unlike,” which is a more definite way of dissociating yourself with the particular page. As such this “dislike” is more powerful than the usual Facebook “dislike” button which is merely an “undo” for “liking.”
Are you with me? Good. Because the other reason the new button is good is that it helps undo one of Facebook’s recent snafus to do with user privacy. We’re talking about the recent change to what constitutes public/private info combined with Facebook’s change from Fan pages to Facebook Pages, and the fact that the automated system sometimes connects you to the wrong Page. Now with “unlike” you can quickly disconnect yourself from being associated with a group of people that perhaps you never intended to connect with.
It’s not the “dislike” button that Facbook users have been clamoring for, and which Facebook is oddly reticent to implement (which is odd…because if your pal’s status update is “I’m way too stressed about my exams!” you’d want to express sympathy with an “unlike” click, wouldn’t you?). But it may be a sign that Facebook is ever so slightly caring about user privacy. Not that that necessarily matters as at least one recent survey says Facebook users are kind on Zuckerberg’s side and don’t give two hoots for privacy anyway. Must be the Internet generation.