Belgium Warns Citizens Against Facebook Emojis

In response to huge demands, Facebook introduced a new set of five additional reactions in February. Facebook users had long expressed the need of a dislike button, but company officials are reluctant to bring any negativity to the site. Instead, they added five new smileys in addition to the like button and designed to help users express their feelings or opinion.

CRB Tech came across a latest news that Belgium officials are raising questions on the emoji reaction buttons and raising privacy concerns in the country. Officials say that Facebook is collecting information based on how users react to the social network content, and selling it to advertisers. Police in Belgium are warning citizens not to use Facebook’s new reactions, to protect their own privacy and ensure that they are not targeted by advertisers.


The Belgian police website posted that Facebook never lets an opportunity to gather more information about people; the icons help expressing feelings, but also help Facebook assess the effectiveness of ads on respective profile.

The police statement warned that one more reason to not rush to click if you want to protect your privacy. The post continues that if you are in a good mood, Facebook will infer that you are more susceptible to advertising and will be able to sell advertising space to marketers by telling them they have a better chance to get you to react at certain times.

Facebook product manager Sammi Krug in an announcement stated that they’ve been listening to people and responded to their request and hence rolled out the additional emojis. However, its blog post introducing the feature made no reference of the reactions’ advertising potential.

In opinion of Belgium police, Facebook page limited the number of icons to six such that people can express their thoughts more easily such that the algorithms that run in the background are more effective. By a seconds click one can let them know what makes him/her happy.


The company has acknowledged how data collected from user emotions represents key marketing opportunities for businesses, and as benchmarks for brand loyalty.

To mention that this is not the first time that the social media giant has faced resistance from the Belgian Police. Late last year, its privacy authorities stopped Facebook from tracking non-users who visited the site with browser cookies

For more updated news stay connected with CRB Tech Solutions.

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