Why You Should Stop Using The Angry Face Reaction on Facebook

In a recent post, I commented that someone suggested that the angry face reaction to one or more of my Facebook posts may have contributed to some of the problems I have been having with them flagging and suspending my posts for no obvious reason.

It turns out that this theory is correct. 

The Facebook algorithm assumes that an angry face reaction means that people don’t like the post itself, or object to it somehow.  This causes that post to undergo more scrutiny by the algorithm, which seems to result more often than not in the post being deleted by Facebook, and the user having certain types of access or posting permissions suspended for a time.  This is what is popularly referred to as ‘being in Facebook jail’.

This is very good to remember when responding to Facebook posts.

The problem with that is that people might not intend for that to happen at all when they use the angry face reaction. It may be that they are sharing the anger, frustration or dislike expressed by the author of the post about something entirely different. It’s not the post they object to, it’s whatever the writer is angry about that makes them angry, too. 
While they are trying to be supportive of the author of the post, that dratted algorithm misinterprets that completely and sets in place consequences that are both unintended by the responder and entirely inappropriate and unfair. 

In short. unless someone posts content that is completely objectionable, don’t use the angry face reaction.
Much more helpful alternatives would be to:

  • Use the “wow” or “sad face” reaction
  • Comment with your thoughts or reactions
  • Post a gif that expresses how you feel about the content of the post

That way, your friends and their posts will actually receive support rather than suppression. 

Save the angry face for those posts that express hatred, vilification, prejudice, discrimination or violence. They’re the ones that should be suppressed. 


9 thoughts on “Why You Should Stop Using The Angry Face Reaction on Facebook

    1. I read meticulously through a bunch of forums and help files. it was painstaking, with a lot of irrelevant material in between, but I wanted to know what was going on with my feed.
      What I could not find was an article from Facebook stating that this was the case – although Mark Zuckerberg’s article from November 2018 hints heavily at this being the case without stating it in so many words.
      A Blueprint for Content Governance and Enforcement by Mark Zuckerberg

  1. I heard that both the sad and angry faces suppress content. (I’ve also heard speculation that the reason is because fb wants only happy customers to which to promote ads that fb sells. Sympathy is not profitable; fb doesn’t want anyone to see posts that will provoke unprofitable emotions.)

  2. I think that if at all possible, prospective research should be done on this, because in my admittedly limited experience, I haven’t seen this happening to posts or comments with a lot of angry or sad reacts. I would be particularly interested in any correlation with post or comment reporting, which is apparently dangerous to FB groups, but is invisible unlike reacts.

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