Facebook's New 'Reaction' Buttons May Detect and Prevent Bullying

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In the near future, Facebook users may get more of a variety when it comes to commenting on that selfie picture you took at the bar last night. The social media giant recently announced they will launch a test pilot of “reaction” buttons to respond to friends’ posts.

The new options are live in Spain and Ireland, and will not include a “Dislike” button. They will include “Like,” “Haha,” “Love,” “Angry,” and “Sad.” The changes are heavily geared toward an anti-bullying sentiment and to promote a more positive experience while driving ad sales.

Tony Lee, who works for 5W, told TechNewsWorld, “For the first time in Facebook’s history, there may be a way to detect Internet bullying before it gets out of hand.” Facebook will monitor posts and if there is an increase in negative reactions to any given post, they can step in and investigate.

It’s anticipated that the new emoji buttons on the reaction bar will offer users a much more “emotional and less technical” experience, added Justin Garrity, president of Postano. “Today, when someone posts about a personal tragedy, and you want to support it, it feels wrong to click the Like button. I think these new options provide enough emotional options in addition to Like to more accurately show the type of support one friend has for another’s post on Facebook.”

The reaction bar would make advertising more effective for businesses, claims Garrity: “Showing Love is much more powerful than Like, and if an ad is making users Angry, it might be a good indicator to rethink the ad.”