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Facebook Confirms ‘Dislike’ Button is Nearing Public Testing

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After previously explaining how a “dislike” button would not be “good for the community” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has now confirmed that the much-requested feature will soon be added to the social network.

The 31 year old billionaire entrepreneur’s surprise change of opinion on the dislike button was announced yesterday when the subject was again raised at a Q&A session at Facebook’s California HQ. Zuckerberg confirmed that the feature is actually already in development and is almost ready to roll out as a public trial.

In a quote from the FB event, MZ says “Probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it.”

The news is sure to get the thumbs up from many of the millions of worldwide users who have been hoping for a way to express a negative reaction to status updates and shared links since the arrival of the like button in February 2009. But we must reflect back on our earlier comments – In an online environment which already attracts so much negative energy is “disliking” things really going to make for a more harmonious social experience for all? What if someone chose to dislike your latest selfie – how would that actually make you feel?

Also See: How to Unplug – Put the Gadgets Down and Do Life!

Zuckerberg does however clarify his early comments about the reasoning behind adding the feature by saying that the dislike button would be employed only to show empathy and would not be used as a way to ‘down vote’ posts. We guess the proof will be in the testing.

In other info from the Facebook Q&A Zuckerberg confirms that the company is focusing more on removing graphic content from the news feed and that AI will be employed to do this. He also looks forward to taking Facebook’s VR gadget, the Oculus Rift, into what he sees as a “golden age” of video when it goes on sale early next year.