(NBC News)– Facebook might finally give users the ability to “dislike” things. During a question-and-answer session streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg said the company was testing alternatives to the “Like” button.
“People have asked about the ‘dislike’ button for many years,” Zuckerberg said at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. “Today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it.”
It’s not clear that it would actually be called a “dislike” button. The tool wouldn’t be for expressing disdain for posts, he said. Instead, it would be for showing empathy for posts that seem inappropriate to “Like,” such as news of natural disasters or loved ones dying.
“Not every moment is a good moment,” he said. Facebook is working on the tool, he said, but gave no release date.
At a town hall held last December, Zuckerberg dismissed the idea of a “dislike” button.
“Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to be able to say ‘that thing isn’t good,’ and we’re not going to do that,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t think that’s socially very valuable, or great for the community.”
This time around, members of the crowd also asked Zuckerberg questions about artificial intelligence (he’s for it), his favorite scientist (James Clerk Maxwell), and the pregnancy of his wife, Priscilla Chan.
A member of the crowd also asked Zuckerberg what Facebook was doing to make housing in the Bay Area — one of the most expensive areas in the country — affordable for ordinary people.
“In order to be a responsible member of the community, we definitely need to contribute to the housing stock,” he said, but did not elaborate on how Facebook would do that.