I’ve heard it said that Facebook needs a “dislike” button.
I don’t know much about the corporate culture at Facebook, but at Apple we wouldn’t have gone for this, not out of some bias toward positivity, but because it’s complicated. It adds another button to the UI. Apple doesn’t add buttons to solve problems. It removes them.
What’s really needed is a single button that does both jobs.
As it’s election season in the US and my news feed is flooded with one-sided political rants, I think it’s time to ask Facebook to adopt my suggestion for a single more versatile button:
You think Romney’s grasp of geography is deeply concerning? This confirms your existing opinions. You think Obama only knows how to find Syria because he went there on his apology tour? BAM. Opinions confirmed. You think these two positions are in any way equivalent? Click the button: it was made for you too. You think politics is dumb? Clicketty click. There’s a button for you.
We could probably simplify it a bit. Change the thumbs up/down to some rolling eyes and shorten the text to “heh”, and we’ve got a significant functional improvement, giving people the chance to interact, no matter what they think, without actually communicating any of the dumb opinions we don’t want to hear anyway.
Everyone’s a winner.