Tech & The Web

No, Facebook Doesn’t Need a Cross Button

Despite an outcry for a cross button in Facebook’s Reactions options, the social media company says there are no plans for such a choice.

A funny thing happened to me when I logged on to Facebook the other day: there was a message from the social media giant thanking me for “loving” a few posts from others.

By “loving,” it meant using the red heart reaction button instead of the more common “Like.” 

The message then said something to the effect of this: “If more people would do that, the world would be a warmer place.”

Good luck with that. These days, there’s so much negativity on social media, particularly Facebook, that the chance we’ll warm to each other rather than going red-hot in rage seems to be less likely by the hour.

Up until a couple of days ago, there was an extra reaction button some folks had: a gay pride flag. (June was Gay Pride Month, after all.) By having liked a page regarding LGBTQ rights, which can be done by anyone, including heterosexuals who believe in equality for everyone, Facebook offered the extra reaction button.

As you probably can easily imagine, this didn’t set well with conservative Christians, which prompted the circulation of a meme (see it here) across the social media network. It showed the then-current lineup of Reactions: Like, Love, Haha, Gay Pride flag, Wow, Sad and Angry. Above the lineup, it read, “Hey, Facebook, you added this one,” with an arrow pointing to the gay symbol.

Below the lineup, it read, “We’re waiting on this one,” with an arrow pointing to a red button with a white cross. This cross button, presumably, would be used by Christians whenever they want to imply… what? Faith? Prayers? God Bless You? See you Sunday?

Of course, there are Christians — too many, in fact — who feel that it “they” get something, “we” deserve something as well, when the point of Christ’s teaching was that we should all be the “we” because each of us has value.

Now that the pride flag icon is gone, maybe this minor controversy will blow over. Over at HuffPo, Curtis M. Wong wrote that Facebook representatives said there are no plans for such an option.

And really, that’s a good thing.

Because if Facebook added a cross button, they’d also have to add a Star of David button, an Islam button (can you just imagine the controversy of that one?) and various other buttons that represent the myriad religious options.

The people who want the cross button, of course, could just leave a comment with whatever religious messaging they wish to express, which I’m sure they’d do even if there were a cross button.

That’s how it supposed to work, anyway. The buttons are nice, but they’re not conversation.

Would you use a cross button if Facebook offered it as a Reaction? What would you use it to mean?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.