New Facebook “Reactions” Emojis Will Be Used To Track How You Feel

Facebook privacy issuesIf you’ve been on Facebook recently, there’s no chance you missed the site’s latest update: “Like” emojis. Instead of only having the choice to “like” posts with a thumbs-up, users can now flag posts with emojis that signify a range of emotions, including “Love,” “Wow,” “Sad” and “Angry.” For the people who have asked the site for a “dislike” button for years, the change will come as long-overdue but welcome news. But for users concerned with Facebook learning more about how they feel as individuals, the update could spell trouble.

According to Mic, Facebook confirmed that it will use data gathered from your emoji use to learn more about what you like—and tailor your News Feed to that.

“Facebook is constantly trying to figure out what will keep you glued to your News Feed longer,” Jack Smith IV wrote in Mic. “Every like, every share and every click or tap is more data to feed the Facebook algorithms. It’s like watering a tree that sinks its roots deeper and deeper. And with each interaction, Facebook knows you better.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Facebook has literally played with users’ emotions; in 2014, the site announced that it had conducted a study on about 700,000 users to determine whether changing the content on their News Feeds could affect their emotions. So while these emojis may give you more freedom to express yourself, you’re also giving Facebook more info about yourself when you use them.