A dislike plugin from a third-party, aptly called GetDislike, promises to work with more browsers than a predecessor. But the extension doesn’t have any staying power.
The free download GetDislike works with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, but limits dislikes to news feed stories.
A further, more significant limitation: Facebook appears to wipe away the dislike button as soon as you attempt to use it.
I never got a chance to find out whether my friends needed to download the same plugin in order to be able to see my dislikes show up in their news feeds.
It’s possible to reinstall the application after it disappears from your account, although you have to reboot your machine in order to complete the installation. Once you do, a thumbs down icon appears in your browser toolbar.
We’re trying to figure out whether this plugin will eventually be wiped out altogether. GetDislike has bought banner advertising on YouTube so presumably the vendor wants stick around on the social network.
Facebook has resisted users’ demands for an unlike button out of concern that said capability could upset advertisers and cut into revenue.
Certainly, limiting dislikes to things that don’t involve brands wouldn’t interfere with advertising.
That explains why another such app called Facebook Dislike still exists two years after it first came out, although the plugin only works with Firefox — plus, others need to download the free extension in order to see your dislikes.
Ultimately, the things people might dislike the most — for example, politicians from opposing parties — will never be truly dislikeable on Facebook, since they all have advertising revenue potential.
Yet the strong demand for a dislike button has inspired numerous malware scammers to promise fake versions of the plugin to trick people into clicking on surveys and other commission-generating schemes.
Facebook has made some concession to user demand by adding an unlike option to pages, which is tantamount to unsubscribing from marketing email. That contrasts with proactively disliking something.
Conversely, clicking the like button remains the most popular way that Facebook users interact on the site, so a dislike button might interfere with the branding of the ubiquitous thumbs-up.
Readers, are you still craving an unlike button?