Demand for ‘dislike’ button grows; Facebook users want icon to warn of swindling

2013-03-29 19:16

Demand for ‘dislike’ button grows

Facebook users want icon to warn of swindling
By Kwon Ji-youn

“The opposite of ‘like’ is not ‘un-like,’” said Choi Jung-hwan, 23, a technician. “It’s dislike.” On Facebook, users can “like” friends’ comments, photos, or statuses by clicking on a blue “thumbs-up” icon, to express agreement or interest. But users have been, for the past few years, calling for the introduction of a “dislike” button as well. It is technically possible to “un-like” a friend’s comment or photo. But in order for this to be effective, the profile owner must be aware the friend has first liked, then “un-liked,” the comment, which calls for careful monitoring of one’s Facebook profile page. Facebook surprised its user base with a “dislike” icon in 2010. However, the icon was a scam, which directed users’ to an existing Firefox add-on that allowed Facebook users to “dislike” posts.  So, is Facebook close to providing such a function on its interface?

Facebook fraud

Jung Da-yi, 20, who works in the fashion industry, told The Korea Times that she wants a way to “warn the public about fraudulent behavior on Facebook.”

Jung received a suspicious Facebook message from a stranger six months ago.

“This stranger claimed he was a project manager at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A.,” she said. “He showed me images of designer labels that he claimed he could purchase at discount, but I knew they were fake.”

She blogged her experience to help others avoid being fooled, but it was too late for some.

“Had there been several ‘dislikes’ to mark the fraud, perhaps fewer people would have been victimized,” she said.

“Click here to see who checked out your Facebook page!” reads a comment on another user’s profile page.

The link, in fact, leads to a survey that asks for the user’s personal information. The page owner then collects commission charges for having people take the survey. Perhaps a few “dislikes” could have warned users off.

“We need the ‘dislike’ icon to ward off swindlers and criminals who attempt to collect money by deceiving Facebook users,” Choi said. “People need to be made aware of such fraudulent online activity.”

Another Facebook page promises Starbucks coupons if users click the share button and comment, “I love Starbucks coffee!” The page, however, has no affiliation with the coffee chain but redirects users to a site that also asks for personal information, which it uses to register them for expensive services.

The absence of a “dislike” button limits peoples’ right to expression.

“Liking something and disliking something are very different concepts,” said Seo Myeong-deok, manager of IT blog media ITViewpoint. “Some people click ‘like’ in order to express their ‘dislike’ (because there is no other way to do so).”

“People may feel like their freedom of expression is being stifled,” Seo continued.

According to Paul Sawers, “People simply love to voice their disapproval and a Facebook ‘dislike’ button would give millions of people what they so dearly crave.”

Sawers is an apps and media editor at Next Web, an online publication.

Currently, the only way to “dislike” a posting is to download the “dislike” add-on to Google Chrome or Firefox.  A disadvantage is that those “dislikes” are only visible to Chrome or Firefox users.

Screening process

Facebook has attempted to reinforce its screening processes to combat fraudulent activity. In September of 2009, Facebook reassured users that false “likes” that corrupt Facebook pages would be weeded out.

Pressured by the need to establish itself as a digital advertising platform, Facebook said in an interview with IT World, “If it’s not a true “like,” then it’s not beneficial to anyone.”

Notably, users post false “likes” in an attempt to display their popularity and acquire a broader customer base.

So then, why not add a “dislike” button to counterbalance?

“In my opinion, Facebook probably won’t add a dislike button to its interface because it would cause noise, which wouldn’t be strategic for investing businesses,” Seo said.

“Adding a ‘dislike’ button will change the entire management system. Facebook makes money off of company advertisements, and “dislikes” won’t help that.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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