Facebook didn’t have the balls to create a dislike button

So it created these


All we wanted was a dislike button. It would have been a gamechanger.

Instead, Facebook has reduced the gamut of human experience to just six emotions: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry. Now, when you hover over the usual “like” button, there are five other reactions to choose from.

Obviously, it was Zuckerberg’s idea – “I want to make it easy for people to give other types of feedback than the Like button in News Feed,” he explained, not very eloquently. But Mark’s not giving us what we want. A petition calling for the introduction of a dislike button once got 1.3 million signatures, but Zuckerberg has refused us again.

facebook-reactions-animation

So what’s changed? Like works like it always did, useful mainly when you want to give someone a boost on a profile picture, or don’t have a smart way to put an end to a spiralling comment thread.

The new Love button is intended for occasions when it feels inappropriate to like a status: maybe they’re sad. Realistically, it will be used to flirt (like its equivalent on Twitter), or embarrass yourself; at some point, when drunk, you will “love” someone’s profile picture – they updated it three weeks ago, you were snooping – and the gig will be up.

Haha is a weird one: a reaction version of the insincere, unintelligent “lol”. It’s also pretty similar to the Wow buttonFacebook likely wants us to use that when our mate in Sri Lanka sends a photo of themselves on the beach. In Britain it will be used sarcastically when someone makes a really obvious point about something in the news cycle.

It’s hard to be genuine when you use the Sad reaction. If someone dies, it’s inappropriate and insubstantial to post a little crying emoji. Lastly, Angry is the closest approximation to the dislike button that we’ve got. But a red frowning face is less sophisticated than a straight-up dislike button.

Of course they’re all reductive – everything about Facebook is reductive. But after all we’ve done for Zuck and the gang – think of all those hours sunk into Facebook – we hoped that he might repay us with the passive aggressive dislike button of our dreams.