Archive for the ‘guardian’ Tag

The Fight for Your Right to Dislike

I like a point Andy Whitlock makes about the word ‘like’.

I’m curious about the ‘Dislike Button’ on Facebook.

I’m indifferent to the Ratings system on YouTube (YouTube knows this).

BuzzFeed lets you go WTF, OMG and LOL. I’m OK with that.

Big tech sites encourage me to share – that’s their mark of liked-ness.

The liberal media values what I have to say. But controversy ≠ great journalism.

How and when people like things can’t be controlled. That’s a good thing.

Why do any of these systems even matter?

I guess there are at least two good reasons:

1. We want to rate things. We want to comment. We might not always have opinions to share, but we can support stuff we like. We can share things that are worth sharing.

[This point is essentially ‘a crass description of web 2.0 in case you’ve not been on the internet for the last decade’.]

2. Forms of rating and commenting become a metric by which users can identify the cream of the crop in their searches, and a prompt to ‘check this out’.

So rating things is socially responsible, in a sense, because it helps the people who come along after you. Unless you’re a troll. Bad troll.

Why do Facebook users want a ‘Dislike Button’?

American FBers like the ‘Dislike Button’ more than they like God.

FBers globally don’t even like Facebook most of the time.

The group pushing the button puts its demands in these terms:

People’s opinion’s [sic] are not just to “like” something, we also have opinions opposite of that, which is why we need a dislike button.

The first bit of that statement is definitely true.

But the conclusion is more debatable…

Nobody gives 1★ ratings on YouTube

By YouTube’s own admission, most user ratings on the site are ★★★★★.

It sounds like they’re looking at an overhaul of their ratings system right now. Perhaps they’ll follow Vimeo and give just one option – ‘Like’ (♥).

People use the other options so rarely you could argue they don’t need them.

And besides, only a tiny percentage of viewers give any rating at all.

Still – there’s a problem with ‘Like’…

Andy Whitlock is bang on.

The word ‘Like’ is semantically wrong in a lot of contexts.

As you can see above, some reputable news sites sidestep the problem by not using a word at all – just a metric for shared-ness.

After all, news – historically speaking – is not the same as entertainment. I won’t ‘Like’ a news item in the way I’d ‘Like’ a film. Its role in my life is more plastic.

…and it’s personal

When news is about people (rather than ‘things’) or directly personal (like ‘I’m going to Malaysia in April’ – a true story), ‘Liking’ becomes more fraught.

How do you separate the person from the ‘thing’?

If you tell me you ‘Dislike’ what I have to say, is there an implication you also ‘Dislike’ me? Will I cry myself to sleep? Will you even care?

I’m giving Facebook a psychic high-five for not rolling out a ‘Dislike Button’. There are a lot of meanies out there, and they probably know it.

But what’s your opinion?

Do we need more options for rating? Or fewer?

What’s the alternative to ‘Like’?

Would you like a ‘Dislike Button’ for this blog post?

Bonus related links to help you ‘Like’ this blog post more

The Guardian | Was this review helpful to you?

1★ reviews of classics on Amazon

New York Times | Will You Be E-Mailing This Column? It’s Awesome

The science behind sharing news online

All Facebook | 10 Things Facebook Users Love and Hate

Yes – FBers love to sleep

Hipster Runoff | ❤ / h8 / miss

The third primal emotion of Gen-Y gets the Carles treatment

One Night in Beijing

Canon EOS5DmkII, One night in Beijing by Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Stunning short by Guardian photographer Dan Chung.

Shot on a Canon EOS5DmkII.