Facebook Finally Adds a 'Dislike' Button -- Sort of

Tech Talk 7

dislike buttonBecause there's not enough hate out there on the World Wide Web, Facebook has decided to add an app that will, well, add to that. It's called "EnemyGraph" and it's basically the equivalent to the dislike button that (some) people have been campaigning for for years now.

The way it works is it lets users list anything that's already on Facebook -- friends, foods, public figures, TV shows, products -- as an enemy. Dean Terry, who helped conceptualize EnemyGraph, told Mashable, "One thing that has always struck me is the enforced niceness culture. We wanted to give people a chance to express dissonance as well. We’re using the word enemy about as accurately as Facebook uses the word friend.”

Enforced niceness culture? Have I been using the wrong Internet all these years?

I can say with 100 percent honesty that the Internet is one of the meanest places I have ever set foot in. In no other realm is it acceptable to say some of the things people say here. The web takes all basic human courtesies and maniacally blows them up into millions of pieces. Would you walk up to a woman on the street and give a big ol' thumbs down in her face just for existing? Doubt it. But you certainly wouldn't hesitate to "dislike" that same woman if there were a video of her on YouTube ... just cause. Even as a person who works on the Internet, the nasty behavior never ceases to amaze me.

Facebook is a little different in the sense that there isn't as much of a sense of anonymity. The people you choose to be "friends" with aren't total strangers. You have a general idea as to who they are at the very least -- and even if you don't, you can see photos of them and get some basic information on their life. (And you can always unfriend.) In my experience, it isn't all rainbows and cartwheels on the site, but there's at least a general sense of order. It feels like there are unwritten rules that ought to be abided. You don't log off feeling like complete and total crap.

Why change that? Even if it is enforced niceness? There are plenty of other places out there that will happily make you feel terrible. Does there need to be another?

Do you think EnemyGraph is a good idea?


Image via Sean MacEntee/Flickr