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Facebook confirms testing a dislike emoji for Messenger

Facebook confirms testing a dislike emoji for Messenger

Social net is hoping people will use it for voting on things like which restaurant to go to, instead of just being mean

Facebook executives have been weighing whether or not to introduce a dislike button, or something similar to it, for years.

Now it seems the social network is taking a big step in possibly giving users something similar to the dislike button they've been asking for.

A spokesperson for Facebook's Messenger app confirmed to Computerworld today that they are running a small test of something akin to a dislike option.

"We're always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging," she said. "This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message."

The test is centered around what basically are thumbs up or a thumbs down emojis being added to the list of Facebook's other emoji reaction options, like love, laughter, wow, sad and angry.

The new emoji options could be used if a group of friends is deciding on whether to order a pizza or to meet at a particular restaurant or park.

There's no sign yet that Facebook executives are considering testing out the new like and dislike options on the Facebook website or app.

If the emotion options are pushed through, it would be the first additions since Facebook moved beyond just the "like" button in February 2016. That's when the world's largest social network added the haha, wow, sad, love and angry reactions.

If a dislike option is added, it would be a departure from what Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said about it in the past.

In a September 2015 town hall forum, Zuckerberg said they were working on adding to the single like option at the time but he was hesitant to give users a dislike option.

"It took us a while to get here because we didn't want to just build a dislike button because we don't want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people's posts," he said at the time. "That doesn't seem like the kind of community we want to create."

And in 2014, at another town hall event, Zuckerberg also voiced concern about the toxicity that a dislike button could spread on the social network.

Now it seems that the company is hoping people will use the thumbs up and down emojis as more of a way to vote on something, rather than to show their displeasure with someone's post. Of course, there's no stopping people from using the thumbs down or dislike button for any reason they choose.

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