A couple of weeks ago, Facebook started rolling out semantic changes to the Events feature. The options “Yes,” “Maybe” and “No” have changed to “Join,” “Maybe” and “Decline,” essentially making Facebook Events seem more like Facebook Groups.
Facebook also added a new additional events button to every Event. If you click, it will lead you to all the other Events in your queue at facebook.com/events.
Why would Facebook make going to an event feel more like joining a group?
Many Facebook Events only happen once. A Facebook Group, on the other hand, implies an ongoing relationship. Join a group and you can receive invites to learn more about events associated with the group, and to connect with likeminded folks. While some Events may behave like Groups – they are invite-only, unless otherwise specified – the semantics behind this change do not accurately reflect the reaction. Would you really want to “decline” an Event? That makes no sense. If someone invited you to an event and you didn’t want to attend, you’d most likely respond with “no.” You would not say “I am declining the event.”
There is a major difference between declining an invitation to an event versus declining the event itself.
A Facebook spokesperson sent us a note about the button changes: “They’re now: Join/Maybe/Decline to more closely mirror how people articulate the way they respond to event invitations.”
Yes, that is accurate – if you’re talking about event invitations. That’s not what it looks like on Facebook, however.
The text that pops up should actually say “Are you sure you want to decline the invitation to the event?” Emphasis mine.