MENLO PARK, Calif. — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this morning that the social media giant is launching a new reaction option to allow users to express their conflicting feelings over racist posts made by their parents and loved ones.
“Actual conversations with your parents and older family members about what is and isn’t appropriate to post are uncomfortable, tedious, and not easily tracked and sold to advertisers,” said Zuckerberg. “We felt that it was important to allow our users to be able to express the horror of seeing the people who raised you share racist memes and articles about, say, measuring skull sizes, but without actually taking substantial measures that would change the way people interact with our platform.”
The new reaction, which depicts a wincing emoji face holding a picture of its father teaching it how to ride a bike, will reportedly sit between the “wow” and “sad” reactions. When clicked, the reaction will appear as an “angry” reaction to any of the user’s friends younger than 35.
“The other day, my dad shared a video of a guy ranting about how Disney’s ‘Song of the South’ should be shown in schools,” said Aaron Jacobs, a Facebook user who helped test the new reaction. “Thanks to Facebook, I can now accurately express the existential crisis that comes with watching the man who taught me how to tie my shoes unwittingly share shit so vile it would make Mel Gibson blush.”
Feedback has been mostly positive, however, with many users claiming the reaction allows them to look good in front of their younger friends without publicly shaming their parents. Despite the strong reception, however, Facebook’s new reaction still has some critics.
“The problem isn’t that we don’t want to talk to our parents about what is and isn’t racist — it’s that we don’t want to talk to our parents at all,” said tech journalist Jenny Watts. “This platform radicalizes middle-aged adults in a way we might never come back from. When I was growing up, my parents always taught me to love everyone equally; now, they’re both ranting about how we need to drug test people on welfare.”
Facebook is also beta-testing a new feature on Instagram, which only shows parents photos of their adult children in professional settings “getting business done,” as opposed to the myriad of thirst traps regularly posted by their offspring.