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Facebook’s ‘Dislike’ button unveiled, and it’s :-O !

Forget thumbs-down: rather, Facebook's rolled out a set of six 'Reactions' emojis lined up next to the Like button.


Over the years, users have clamored for a Facebook “Dislike” button.

Now, finally, we know how Facebook feels about the request.

Facebook Loves it with a big red heart.

Or finds it Funny, with squinty-eyed, open-mouthed, laughing mirth.

Or Facebook finds the requests Surprising with open-mouthed “Wow!-ness”, or with one-tear-rolling down the cheek Sadness, or with orange-forehead glowering MADNESS!!!

Yes, that’s right – rather than a simple thumbs-down Dislike button, Facebook is testing a set of six additional emojis that, at this stage, line up as options next to the standard “Like” button.

According to a posting Mark Zuckerberg made on his Facebook page on Thursday, the emojis are “Reactions” that line up next to the plain old Like, signifying Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.

What he had to say about these very-much-not-thumbs-down emojis:

For many years ... people have asked us to add a "dislike" button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself.

At a Q&A last month, in response to yet another question about the Dislike option, Zuckerberg said that Facebook was working on getting some more nuance into users’ hands beyond the Like button.

He said that Facebook has spent a lot of time thinking about “the best way to give you better options for expressing yourself, while keeping the experience simple and respectful.”

The company started to test what it’s calling “Reactions” on Thursday, rolling it out first to users in Ireland and Spain.

To use the feature, you long-press the Like button until the six Reactions pop up, and you choose one from there.

Posts will reportedly show reaction counts alongside the number of comments: for example, 10 Loves, 4 Yays.

In retrospect, the introduction of emojis and the shunning of a thumbs-down button isn’t surprising.

Plenty of users have, reasonably enough, wanted an option besides Like, given how inappropriate a reaction it can be to posts regarding tragedies or sad events, such as the deaths of loved ones or the refugee crisis.

Users want to show support, but pressing Like on such a post is obviously inappropriate.

Since Zuckerberg publicly said that more options were in the works, his official Facebook page has been flooded with thousands of comments about the dislike option: many have been pro-Dislike button, but others have said that it would lead to cyberbullying and negativity.

The Verge quoted this one:

Please don’t put a dislike button, as much as there is times I would love it, would much rather express my thoughts in words to be completely direct on my opinion.

While the emojis aren’t a dislike button, they will give users “the power to easily express sorrow and empathy, in addition to delight and warmth,” Zuckerberg said.

Keeping a Dislike button out of users’ hands won’t prevent bullying, by any means. Facebook, like many social media networks, has a long history of being used as a platform to torment people.

You don’t need a Dislike button to post vicious things about people in plain old text comments, after all.

Facebook has done commendable work to battle cyberbullying, including rolling out a Bullying Prevention Centre in the UK and Europe last year – a culmination of years of work by Facebook engineers and partners at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

Mark Zuckerberg’s network has proven itself to be a bit tone-deaf on some issues though, including its real-name policy.

It’s also, of course, had a spotty history when it comes to the occasional security and privacy glitch.

But overall, Naked Security gives Facebook the thumbs-down far less often than we once did.

As Naked Security’s Paul Ducklin pointed out recently, we have good cause:

Security and privacy seem to be a much bigger deal at Facebook these days; there are clear and extensive guidelines for App Reviews; and the company not only made HTTPS the default, but subsequently got rid of HTTP.

Of course, many of our readers would rather douse their keyboards with glue than ever log in to a Facebook account and risk whatever privacy incursions or utter waste of time would possibly occur therein.

But for the rest of us, keeping Facebook thumbs-down-free is, in my opinion, a welcome way to at least try to keep the bullying at bay and the positivity up.

For that, I’m giving the company a thumbs-up.

If you want to emoji your own thoughts on the matter in the comments section below, go right ahead: we always <3 to get your take.

Image of Facebook Reactions courtesy of


“Or finds it Funny, with squinty-eyed, open-mouthed, laughing mirth.”

I think you meant:

“Or finds it Funny, with squinty-eyed, open-mouthed, laughing mouth.”


MIRTH – amusement, especially as expressed in laughter.

I find it ironic that you felt the need to correct something that needed no correcting.

If there was one, I would have hit the “dislilke” button on your holier-than-thou comment :P


I guess I am just old. I would rather have a dislike button…..all these icons are for the teens and children or other simple people.


It’s a bit ironic that you state you prefer a more blunt, less complex option, instead of “all these icons,” which you then dismiss as being for “simple people.”


I like the concept, even though I’m not a big emoji fan. “Dislike” is too much like a vote down or other rating option. And for years (like many other proponents), I’ve been torn about needing to “Like” something that’s otherwise negative just to indicate my support.


“For many years … people have asked us to add a “dislike” button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself.”

Mr. Zuckerberg, I feel you have missed the point. We can already “express empathy” or “share.” It’s called leaving a COMMENT…without hitting the ‘Like” button. I and many other people have been doing that for a long time.

We do not need emoticons instead of a “Dislike” button. If we want to leave a cute emoticon, we can do so in the comment section. Like this: =@ (Angry). See, it’s easy!

People don’t need buttons for this. People wanted a “Dislike” button.


I would prefer, Like, Dislike and ! with ! just meaning you want to draw attention to something. Not sure I want all the emoticons cluttering the experience.


dislike button would lead to hurt feelings, or arguments such as “WTF don’t you like that picture of my kids you <>” and then lead to everything being “disliked” or hurt feelings if a close friend “dislikes” something that you said…. Even a close friend can tag something that would make them “angry”, that is much better than “dislike”…… Yes, I agree there are TOO MANY buttons now… take a couple of them away and it would be a good thing…. but I applaud Facebook for their no dislike button policy….


This is really another ploy to better target ads to users. Since I stopped using the ‘like’ button on Facebook, my feed is so much cleaner. Facebook has stated they intend to tailor News Feeds based on user’s ‘reaction’ clicks.


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