[W]hat Zuckerberg misses is that we haters are a picky bunch. You can like just about anything, but disliking is about discernment.
Giving Facebookers a single icon that allows them to dislike a status, yet doesn’t let users scale or tweak their negativity to fit the occasion, won’t work. Will a casual “dislike” really act as a virtual hug when a friend posts about having to put down the family dog? Unlikely. And how will that same pooch euthanizer feel when they see that you’ve also employed the “thumbs down” button (one rumored incarnation) a minute later for a friend who merely lost her keys?
The real disaster that lurks just round the bend, however, is the potential to be subtly and devastatingly malicious. For instance, what if you want to dislike something in an utterly non-empathetic way? Food photos come to minds, as do profile updates that seek sycophantic reassurance about the poster’s looks. Will you be able to resist abusing a button that lets you vent your irritation with such ease? …
And just imagine the fallout for anyone with an open profile. It’s a whole new tool for trolls, or the people who simply don’t get that, unless you’re going to be nice, you shouldn’t really pass judgment on the statuses of strangers. That’s what Twitter is for.
Then, there are the FB jesters who will attempt to use “dislike” jokingly and suffer a public backlash.