Yes, Facebook is still considering adding the “dislike” button that users have long asked for–but it doesn’t sound like it’s coming anytime soon. “We’re thinking about it, on the dislike button,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday afternoon. “We need to figure out a way to make it a force for good, not a force for bad and demeaning the posts that people are putting out there.”
Zuckerberg was speaking at his second-ever public Q&A, broadcasting live from the social network’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters. In front of him was a crowd of Facebook employees, fans, and random locals; people also watched it streaming online. He fielded a wide variety of questions that were delivered in person, through Facebook thread, and video.
One of the more biting questions came from a Facebook user in Islamabad: “Facebook has become synonymous with wasting time, lack of productivity, etc. How do you think Facebook can transform into a more productive, empowering medium?”
Zuckerberg seemed a bit taken aback by this characterization of the company he founded as a student at Harvard. He stressed that Facebook’s main mission is to build relationships, whether it be romantic, familial, or professional. “That’s not wasting people’s time at all,” he said. “That’s extremely valuable in the world.”
Another audience member asked about how Facebook might be used to better serve the public sector, particularly when it comes to communication between elected officials and constituents. Zuckerberg pointed to recent elections in India and Indonesia, and conversations he’d had with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during a recent visit to Asia. “They want a channel to directly speak to the people they serve,” he said.
But the best question of the event came at the very end, when a female audience member asked, “If you and I were married, how would we handle Facebook with our daughter?”
“I think children are much more capable than we think,” Zuckerberg replied. “I would want my children to use technology because it’s one of the ways you become literate and acquire the tools of the modern world.”