The button would replace the ‘like’ button for relevant posts that included negative information. For example, if a user was posting a status notifying of a death, they could select a negative emotion from a dropdown list and then the like button would be replaced with a sympathise button for that post.
The idea cropped up during a question and answer session, when a member of the audience asked whether the social network had considered giving an alternative option to the like button, where appropriate. A Facebook engineer commented that a ‘sympathise’ button had been created for testing on an internal project but also that there are no plans to launch it, as yet.
But what would a sympathise button mean for social interaction? Would it become an easy but rather insensitive alternative to showing care and sympathy face to face? How could this effect relationships? And, would an image of a thumb really suit the message? Read an argument against the sympathise button here.