Facebook removed an emoticon this week that let users share that they were “feeling fat.” It had been part of a long list of emoticons that users could share with their friends to detail how they feel, including “feeling loved,” “feeling blessed,” and more. A petition urging Facebook to remove the double-chinned face icon quickly garnered more than 16,000 signatures, and a phrase from the activists, “fat is not a feeling,” gained viral traction online.
“We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders,” Facebook said in a statement. “So we’re going to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the list of options. We’ll continue to listen to feedback as we think about ways to help people express themselves on Facebook.”
However, Facebook eliminated the emoticon in name only; the same face still exists, only now it’s called “feeling stuffed.” And as The Verge points out, there is still an emoticon for “feeling ugly.” Nonetheless, activists can claim a big victory over Facebook’s sometimes-insensitive features and settings. Whether its users pushing back against Facebook’s unfair “real names” policy or pushing the site to add a “fill in the blank” field for gender, at least the site is willing to listen to people concerned with its privacy and data policies.