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Facebook Unveils New ‘Care’ Reactions to Help Express Responses to COVID-19

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After it was spotted in testing late last month, Facebook has now officially unveiled its new ‘Care’ Reactions for both Facebook and Messenger, which will provide another quick response option for COVID-19 related updates.

Facebook 'Care' Reaction

As you can see here, on Facebook, the ‘Care’ Reaction depicts a smiley face character hugging a heart, and will be the seventh Reaction added to the set.

On Messenger, you’ll now have the option to change the existing ‘Heart’ response to a purple, beating animation of the same.

Facebook 'Care' Reaction on Messenger

Facebook says that the new Reaction will give users another way to express a relevant emotion amid the current crisis, and better connect with other users.

As explained by Facebook’s Fidji Simo:

“This idea of a hug reaction came back consistently as one of the emotions and feelings that were missing from Reactions, so that’s something that was always on our minds. And with the crisis that we’re going through right now, there’s no doubt that people need more compassion, more support.”

Facebook notes that facilitating more ways to empathize and sympathize can help to normalize challenging situations, which is an important part of dealing with the emotions stirred up by COVID-19. That said, Facebook also says that the ‘Care’ Reaction could also stick around after the current crisis, depending on how it’s used. 

“[COVID-19] is going to help us really understand how people are using it, whether they are finding value and whether this reaction is really specific to the moment in time that we are going through or if it’s more evergreen. Based on that, we’ll decide whether we keep it or whether we remove it at the end of this crisis.”

Facebook has experimented with various additional and alternative Reactions over time, though all of those have, indeed, been short-term changes, and in specific regions.

In the lead up to Mother’s Day in 2016, Facebook added a new ‘Thankful’ Reaction in several markets, represented by a flower emoji.

Facebook 'Thankful' Reaction

Facebook’s also tried out themed Reactions, like Star Trek and Halloween variants.

Facebook Halloween Reactions

Given this, the new ‘Care’ Reaction is not a major leap, but it’ll be interesting to see if it does, in fact, end up sticking around, and whether people find it useful when engaging with posts.

It could even end up being a distribution consideration – back in 2017, Facebook actually began weighing reactions more heavily than Likes within its algorithm, because according to Facebook:

If people leave a Reaction on a post, it’s an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post.”

That could, potentially, make the ‘Care’ Reaction an important consideration for, say, nonprofits or cause-based organizations, or even news organizations to some degree, depending on what the data shows.

And maybe, that could make Facebook a less hostile place for comments – maybe, if it’s used enough, and Facebook weighs that specific Reaction more heavily, it could be a way to amplify more positive, empathetic conversations on the platform, as opposed to provoking hate by sharing posts that inspire ‘Angry’ responses.

Or, maybe it’ll just be a short-term thing that provides another option during the COVID19 pandemic. Either way, it’s an interesting addition, and it’ll be worth keeping an eye out for the new Reactions in your Facebook streams. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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Soros-Funded Fake News Operation Pushes Facebook to Reinstate Trump Ban

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Soros-Funded Fake News Operation Pushes Facebook to Reinstate Trump Ban

Courier Newsroom also has ties to progressive megadonor Laurene Powell Jobs

George Soros / Getty Images

A progressive billionaire-funded network of Democratic propaganda sites masquerading as legitimate news websites is leading the push to keep former president Donald Trump off Facebook and Twitter.

Courier Newsroom, which bills itself as the “largest left-leaning news network in the country,” organized a petition this week to pressure Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Elon Musk to keep Trump off their platforms. Facebook said Thursday it would reinstate Trump “in the coming weeks.” Twitter reinstated Trump in November, but the former president has not posted on the site. Both sites banned him in January 2021, under pressure from Democratic lawmakers and liberal advocacy groups.

“We cannot allow him to rejoin these platforms and spread more hateful, inaccurate information. Sign the petition now to keep Trump off of Facebook and Twitter,” Courier’s petition says. Blue Amp Action, a Democratic consulting firm, circulated the petition in an email to Courier supporters. The consulting firm has worked for a number of Democratic campaigns. President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign paid Blue Amp Action around $230,000 for media production services in 2020.

Maintaining a ban on Trump could help Democrats in 2024 by depriving the early GOP favorite of access to two of the country’s biggest media platforms. And that aligns with the political goals of Courier Newsroom’s biggest backers.

Laurene Powell Jobs, who inherited $20 billion from her late husband, Apple founder Steve Jobs, was a major funder of ACRONYM, the digital media company behind Courier Newsroom, the Washington Free Beacon reported. While the exact nature of Powell Jobs’s ties to ACRONYM and Courier Newsroom are unclear, she is not the only progressive megadonor propping up the group.

In October 2021, the progressive billionaire George Soros and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman formed an organization called Good Information, Inc. The group acquired Courier Newsroom, which operates websites designed to look like legitimate local news publications. Soros, the Democratic party’s biggest donor, gave $1.2 million to Courier Newsroom through his Open Society Foundations in 2021 to support the group’s “non-partisan journalism.”

While Courier Newsroom aims to root out political disinformation online, Hoffman has funded multiple projects that used disinformation to help elect Democrats. In 2017, he funded a project in which tech firms created fake social media personas in order to suppress Republican voter turnout in Alabama’s 2017 special Senate election.

Other Soros-funded advocacy groups have pressured Facebook to maintain its ban on Trump.

Media Matters for America, which received $500,000 in Soros cash in 2021, partnered with Accountable Tech to form the “Keep Trump Off Facebook” campaign. MoveOn.org, one of the largest progressive groups in the country, has purchased ads on Facebook to circulate a petition to keep Trump off the platform. Soros donated $450,000 to MoveOn in 2021.

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Wanda Sykes On Why Meta Reinstated Trump

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Wanda Sykes On Why Meta Reinstated Trump

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta announced this week that twice-impeached former president Donald Trump will be reinstated on both platforms, after a two-year suspension.

“The Daily Show” guest host Wanda Sykes was not at all surprised, saying that it’s just a money-grabbing stunt.

In their announcement on Wednesday, Meta stated that “the public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.” And to that, Wanda Sykes said “Phooey!”

“Look, we all know Facebook is losing a ton of money and they want that Trump attention back,” Sykes mocked. “They need a hit! Trump is their ‘White Lotus.’”

She added that Trump is “the Jennifer Coolidge of the internet,” breaking out her own impression of the award-winning actress. That said, Sykes does think there needs to be some intense moderation of Trump’s accounts. But she had an idea for that, too.

“I think maybe for the first week, they should just allow him to only post cat photos. You know, let’s see how it goes,” Sykes joked. “If you see a bunch of cats storming the Capitol? Although adorable, shut it down.”

You can watch the full segment from “The Daily Show” in the video above.

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Is This the Real Reason Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft Are Having Layoffs?

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Is This the Real Reason Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft Are Having Layoffs?

Are 51,000 people losing their jobs because their employers want to shift the balance of power? Is the current wave of big-tech layoffs really intended as a way of weakening tech employees’ confidence and gaining a stronger negotiating position for their employers? That’s what several tech industry …

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