Zuck says Facebook planning a ‘dislike’ button
Facebook is going beyond the “like” button, working on something akin to a “dislike” button, according to Mark Zuckerberg speaking at a Q&A session at Facebook’s headquarters yesterday. But it won’t be simple. Mr. Zuckerberg said Facebook wants to limit use of the button to expressing sympathy when someone posts something sad or upsetting. Mr. Zuckerberg said it was a […]
September 16, 2015 3:45 pm
Facebook is going beyond the “like” button, working on something akin to a “dislike” button, according to Mark Zuckerberg speaking at a Q&A session at Facebook’s headquarters yesterday.
But it won’t be simple. Mr. Zuckerberg said Facebook wants to limit use of the button to expressing sympathy when someone posts something sad or upsetting.
Mr. Zuckerberg said it was a surprisingly complicated task to build the button. But the company has an idea that it will soon begin testing.
Facebook has been asked about a dislike button for many years, but the company didn’t want to just give users an easy way to criticize a Facebook status.
“What they really want is an ability to express empathy,” Mr. Zuckerberg. “If you’re expressing something sad… it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post, but your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand.”
It’s unclear how the new button would work and how it would factor into the algorithm that shapes the Facebook news feed. Earlier this year, Facebook said it would tweak the algorithm to account for how long users spent on a particular post, because users often did not want to “like” a sad post.
A Facebook spokeswoman declined additional comment on Mr. Zuckerberg’s remarks.
On another subject, Mr. Zuckerberg said that as Facebook grows, the company is looking at how to build affordable housing near its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. He said this was a part of being a responsible member of the community. He didn’t elaborate on the type of affordable housing.
Mr. Zuckerberg also said he is more optimistic about artificial intelligence and virtual reality than other technologists. “All new technology has the ability to do good and bad but I am fundamentally optimistic about human nature and our ability to use these things to do good,” he said.
For example, artificial intelligence could help Facebook assess graphic content, he said. Such content is now reported to Facebook’s community-standards division, but AI tools could supplant that.
That will require improvement in the technology. Now, computers can’t look at a photo and understand if it is graphic or contains nudity, he said.
Mr. Zuckerberg said such a filter would have to be nimble. Some users might not object to disturbing content. In other cases, potentially disturbing issues may carry important news value, such as the recent photo of a three-year-old Syrian refugee on the shore of a Turkish beach. That photo, Mr. Zuckerberg said, raised awareness about the long-running refugee crisis and sparked important conversations.
He once again emphasized his optimism about virtual reality. Last year, Facebook bought Oculus VR, a maker of an immersive VR headset, for about $2 billion. The company is in the early stages of developing a VR-focused standalone video app, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
“Over the next five years, I think we’re going to go into this golden age of video,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. After that, it’s virtual reality. In 25 to 35 years, Mr. Zuckerberg said he could envision a world where people can communicate thoughts directly to one another.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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