You may or may not have noticed an increase of pride flags on Facebook over the past few weeks. The tiny rainbow flag is a reaction option, the new “pride reaction” for Pride Month, but, TBH, I hope it sticks around for longer. I mean, just look at how fun they are! Not to mention how important they are, of course. If you haven’t seen them, this is what they look like:
According to a statement released earlier this month, the reaction was supposed to show support for the LGBTQ community. “When you choose this temporary rainbow reaction, you’ll be expressing your ‘Pride’ to the post.” Sounds cool, right? Yes! It’s really important to show support and solidarity with the LGBTQ community. This is especially true in a time where being queer can be really hard, and it’s essential that we stand with this community. That being said, Facebook is being a little shady when it comes to who actually gets to use the “Pride” reaction.
In the same statement, Facebook clarified that the reaction wouldn’t be available everywhere, which is making people pretty angry. The statement released said, “People in major markets with Pride celebrations will be able to use a temporary rainbow reaction during Pride month… Because this is a new experience we’ve been testing, the rainbow reaction will not be available everywhere.”
So, they are basically saying that due to technical issues, it won’t be available to every single Facebook user. But that seems a little… weird, right? I mean, Pride is supposed to be celebrated everywhere, but it’s only available in places with “major markets,” which is a pretty unspecified area. This has caused people to think that Facebook is playing it safe by not allowing the Pride react button in places that are not so LGBTQ-friendly. For instance, the button isn’t available in certain countries where homosexual acts are frowned upon, like Russia, Egypt, and Singapore.
Facebook insists that this is just a “test,” which is why the reactions aren’t available everywhere. But some American Facebook users said they aren’t able to access it as well. It seems sort of random that Facebook would let only certain users gain access to this button. It’s also worth noting that other limited edition reactions, like the “thankful” flower and the Halloween pumpkin, were available for everyone automatically, while with the Pride reaction, you need to activate it by “liking” Facebook’s Pride page.
Sure, it COULD be a technical issue, but odds are good that Facebook is not trying to cause any drama in places with homophobic laws and regulations, which is pretty sad. There are LGBTQ people everywhere, and even though it seems like a silly little reaction button, it really symbolizes a lot. And the fact that some people DON’T have one just isn’t right, IMO.
What do you think of the Pride button? Tell us in the comments!