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Here's Why There's No Dislike Button on Facebook

Like it or not, social media is an integral part of our lives. But sometimes, the etiquette can be a little fuzzy, especially when your only option is to hit that "like" button.

How do you properly acknowledge an event like a death in the family? Or share your opinion about a headline without participating in a quickly devolving comment thread? If you choose to "like" that post about your co-worker's surgery or your friend's kid's missing pet, will it come off as supportive or flippant?

Related: Facebook Rolls Out 'Safety Check' Feature to Connect Loved Ones in Times of Crises

Despite these possible social minefields, former Facebook CTO and current Quip CEO Bret Taylor, the man who created the confusion-inducing thumbs up symbol five years ago, says you shouldn't expect to see a "dislike" button anytime soon. 

Taylor told TechRadar that while the "dislike" button idea was explored, it was ultimately taken off the table because of its "complexity" and it's potential to be used for cyber bulling.

Related: Can You Be Too Old For Facebook? This 113-Year-Old Was, But That Didn't Stop Her.

"The main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences," said Taylor "If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there's probably a word for what you want to say."

However, TechRadar also pointed out that "likes" are also a way for advertisers to target their audience, along with distinctions like relationship status, gender, location and education. Taylor says the idea initially grew out of streamlining comments thread when people would just post things like "wow" and "cool." "It wasn't really just a sentiment of 'like'."

Related: Local Businesses: Facebook Now Offers Stalkerish Ads That Target Nearby Customers

That question of nuance also comes into play when you consider how people use the "favorite" button on Twitter. This summer, a trio of researchers from Germany and England conducted a study that found people "favorite" tweets for as many as 25 different reasons, ranging from emotional resonance to an accidental slip. 

We want to hear from you. Do you think social media platforms should have down voting or disliking capabilities or are they better off just staying positive?

Related: Parents May Be Held Accountable for Kids' Facebook Activity, Court Rules

Edition: October 2016

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