Let’s get this straight, folks: when people click the LIKE button on a Facebook news story, it does NOT necessarily mean that they LIKE the subject. Not a week goes by that I don’t see someone leave a comment (on KRTV FB page or another news org) on a “bad” news story along the lines of: “Why the hell would anyone LIKE this?!?!?”
Many people click the LIKE button to show that they appreciate being kept informed; other people click the LIKE button as a bookmark of sorts, so that they can return to the post without having to leave a comment.
Until Facebook gives people an option other than LIKE or nothing (don’t get your hopes up), the LIKE button will serve several purposes.
As noted on Slate a while back: “If we can accept that the “like” button is really about letting someone know that you acknowledge what they posted, then we can dispense with the “dislike” chatter that has been going on since Facebook unleashed the thumbs-up in February 2009.”