Would you ‘like’ a Facebook ‘sympathize’ button?

Sympathetic? Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a June 20 Facebook event.

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Facebook may be loosening its straightjacket on emotional responses with a “sympathize” button for negative news, but a “dislike” button remains a dream.

If the function ever were implemented, users who tag a status with a negative emoticon would see acknowledgements of sympathy versus “likes.” Disliking the bad news, however, would not be an option.

Facebook engineer Dan Muriello described the possible function and its origins in a company hackathon, saying the sympathetic response would accompany gloomy updates only. For example, it would only work with posts in which users specified what they’re feeling by selecting from Facebook’s menu of 40 emoticons, which tries to encompass the vast range of human psychology.

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