When Facebook launched its new Reactions feature back in February, we were all overjoyed to be given an option other than just “Like” to express our feeling towards a post. For years, users had called for a “Dislike” button, which would allow people to showcase their feelings for a post without seeming to endorse what had been said. For example, when somebody would post, “Grandpa died last night. May he rest in peace”, it got mega awkward when Stephanie from eighth grade English “Liked” it.
Then again, maybe Stephanie is just one sick and twisted individual, but I digress… The new reactions allowed users to express their Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry towards a post via simple emoticons, effectively answering the prayers for a “Dislike” button.
However, Belgian police have warned citizens to steer clear of the new Reactions. But why on earth would the Belgian police be telling us this? Well, it turns out that this is some fairly solid advice.
The Belgian police force have stated that Facebook’s Reaction icons are being used to harvest our private information. A post on their official website describes how “the icons help not only express your feelings”, but how they “also help Facebook assess the effectiveness of the ads on your profile”. They claimed that Facebook are able to use the tool to find out when their users are likely to be in a good mood, and that is when they will decide to show us the most ads on our newsfeeds.