Will ‘dislike’ button have an impact on Facebook?

Published 12:07 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Facebook users will soon have both options when the social media site introduces a new “Dislike” button.

Users can now “Like” posts on Facebook, but Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook is working on the additional option of expressing disapproval.

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University of Mississippi students and employees were polled Tuesday on their thoughts.

Shreveport native Millie Flowers, 21, said she doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

“I can see a few really negative things, along with cyber-bullying,” said the marketing major.

Flowers said the new button may make social media more negative.

Texas native Kyle Zavitz, 21, said he doesn’t use Facebook as much as he used to, but he can see some positive benefits of having a “Dislike” button.

“It would be more honest for people,” the accounting major said. “You could get more input about what you were trying to get out there.”

Olive Branch native Ally Black, 21, said she checks Facebook about once a day.

“I think that’s a terrible idea,” she said, referring to the proposed “Dislike” button. “That could hurt people’s feelings. It’s negative.”

Black, a graphic design major, said she doesn’t think it’s necessary to add a button that enables people to be intentionally rude or mean, but the button might be a useful tool for Facebook administrators.

“There are articles that people share that are absolutely terrible,” she said. “If there’s a ton of dislikes, Facebook might see it and take down.”

Black said she feels the new button may incite more social media drama.

“It think it would cause a lot more arguments than it needed to,” she said.

Jackson native Paul Gandy, 30, a visual resource specialist, agrees that the button could increase negativity.

“I think a few people might be offended by it, but the Internet offends people all the time,” Gandy said, and “it could be used in a funny aspect.”

Gandy said he can envision the button being used frequently during political arguments on Facebook.

“I think it’s going to be having an effect on people’s psyche on Facebook,” he said. “I think it’s going to incite a lot of rebuttals in the comment section.”

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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