More About Carrier and Cyberbullying

President-elect Trump seems to be firming up opponents and supporters, simply reinforcing what voters felt before the election. His move to save Carrier jobs from relocating to Mexico has been criticized as a political ploy and a dishonest representation of the deal.

The president of the local Steelworkers Union and a member of the negotiating team, Chuck Jones, said Trump's claim of saving 1,100 Indiana jobs was inflated: 350 of those jobs were never intended to move.

Trump Tweet US SteelworkersA New York Times article questions Trump's response, which experts describe as dangerous:

  • Anybody who goes on air or goes public and calls out the president has to then live in fear that he is going to seek retribution in the public sphere. That could discourage people from speaking out. (Frank Sesno)
  • It's beneath the dignity of the office. He doesn't seem to understand that. (Robert Dallek)
  • When you attack a man for living an ordinary life in an ordinary job, it is bullying. It is cyberbullying. This is a strategy to bully somebody who dissents. That's what is dark and disturbing. (Nicolle Wallace)

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your view of Trump's behavior on Twitter? This has been going on since the beginning of the election process. Should he stop now, or is that a personal decision he gets to make?
  • The initial news about saving jobs seems to have been inflated. How does that influence your view of Trump's negotiation as a success story?

Facebook's Fake News

Facebook has been displaying news according to users' preferences, which could override news that conflicts with their point of view. During the election, people saw fake stories that may have affected their vote. One frequent fake news writer bragged, "I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don't fact-check anything - they'll post everything, believe anything."

BuzzFeed analyzed data from Facebook news stories and found that the top 20 fake election news stories outpaced shares, comments, and reaction to the top 20 legitimate election news stories. Although Mark Zuckerberg at first denied any connection between FB's fake stories and the election outcome, he later posted a plan for the social networking site to address fake news.

Zuckerberg posted, "[W]e don't want any hoaxes on Facebook." Still, he said, it's tough to distinguish fake news, and it's quite uncommon:

"Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other."

This is a clever strategy, but the top 20 fake news stories got more than 8,711,000 shares, reactions, and comments, so it's not an insignificant number.

Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College, compiled this list of ways to spot fake news.

In addition, a small group of students at a hackathon at Princeton University wrote FiB, which uses an algorithm to distinguish true and false news.

Discussion Starters:

  • How do you assess news on Facebook or other social media sites?
  • Have you ever posted something that you knew wasn't true? Why, and did you consider the potential consequences?
  • Do you think fake news stories influenced the election? How?

Layoffs at Twitter

Twitter is laying off about 9% of employees and closing Vine, the short video app it purchased in October 2012 before it launched. When Instagram offered video options, Vine immediately lost much of its user base. About 350 employees are affected.

Layoffs are awkward for Twitter, a site sometimes used for "live tweeting" bad news. In this case, a former employee created a Twitter Moment, "Last Day at Twitter." Exiting employees also used the hashtag #TwitterLayoffs. This could be risky for a company, but the posts are positive. It could be that employees enjoyed their time at Twitter and understand the rationale for layoffs. It could also be that employees are in high demand from other companies, so they won't be out of work too long.

Twitter layoffs

Discussion Starters:

  • Why do you think employees tweeted nice messages on their last day? I offered two theories. Any other ideas?
  • Should the company have created its own hashtag for the event to pre-empt something worse? Why or why not?

Facebook Debates Trump's Posts as Hate Speech

Are some of Donald Trump's posts considered hate speech? That's what Facebook employees debated in December according to a Wall Street Journal article, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided against censorship. Some employees felt strongly-even threatening to quit-over Trump's posts proposing banning Muslims from entering the country. Trump_ban_muslims_from_u_s-vi-3

A spokesperson for Facebook said, "That context [of a post] can include the value of political discourse. Many people are voicing opinions about this particular content, and it has become an important part of the conversation around who the next U.S. president will be." Another management team member wrote, "In the weeks ahead, we're going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest-even if they might otherwise violate our standards."

Facebook is in the spotlight partly because Americans increasingly use the site as a news source, and the company has been viewed as left-leaning. Clearly, Facebook is in a tough spot. 

Discussion Starters:

  • What is considered hate speech?
  • Did Mark Zuckerberg make the right decision? Research Facebook's policy for context.
  • Should Facebook adjust its policy? Or is this a decision relevant only to the current election?

"Robo-Interviews" Become More Prevalent

HireVueMore companies are interviewing applicants via webcam, and the process is not interactive like Skype and FaceTime interviews. About 90% of these interviews have no interviewer present. Applicants respond to questions on the spot, sometimes with a warm-up question and a few seconds to compose a response, but not always. A Bloomberg article quoted one candidate about his experience:

"I'm not a YouTube star, obviously," he said. "It's such a weird experience talking to a camera. It honestly was pretty horrible." Jamie Black, who suffered through the video interview experience for a job at a school, said it felt "more like a game show than an interview." 

HireVue, which provides interview software, reports 2.5 million such interviews in 2016. The company's clients include JPMorgan, Deloitte, and "most of the major airlines."

The process has some advantages. Of course, it saves companies travel and other expenses of live interviews. But some companies also say that are able to meet more people through the technology. The Bloomberg article ends with a quote from HireVue's founder, Mark Newman:

"Candidates will generally say, 'I would have preferred an in-person interview to this,' but that's not the right comparison," HireVue's Newman said. "The alternative is no interview at all."

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your experience with interview videos?
  • What benefits and downsides do you see for applicants?
  • How do you think this technology affects people of color? If companies want a more diverse workforce, will the software help or hurt?

Samsung Trying to Control the Damage

Samsung is dealing with a tough situation: batteries in the Galaxy Note7 have been causing fires. Warnings to turn off Samsung phones are heard on many flights, including mine to Denver this weekend. As the BBC reports, "that sends out a negative message about your products beyond even your own customers."

The company handled the initial reports well but lost favor when its replacements overheated or burned. The BBC article explains the growing issue for Samsung:

"The trouble is that even one phone which catches fire makes for startling pictures and a whole heap of consumer anxiety. Samsung may soon have to decide whether to cut its losses and abandon the Note 7 before it does more damage to its brand."

The New York Times also reported on Samsung's poor crisis communication:

"But for people to see those words, they had to click a link at the top of Samsung's home page with the not-so-urgent label 'Updated Consumer Guidance for the Galaxy Note 7.' As of Tuesday afternoon, the instructions had not been posted to Samsung's Facebook page or the company's Twitter account.

"For some who work in crisis management, it was a baffling and overly passive way for the South Korean electronics giant to deal with a prominent problem that has worsened in the last month."

On its website, Samsung posted this message: 

Samsung Will Ask All Global Partners to Stop Sales and Exchanges of Galaxy Note7 While Further Investigation Takes Place

on October 11, 2016

We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers' safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.

We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.

Discussion Starters:

  • Look at Samsung's recent news statements about this situation. How well has the company handled communication on its website?
  • How, if at all, do you see this issue potentially reflecting poorly on the mobile industry? What should other phone manufacturers do?

New Trouble for Christie on the Bridge Closings

After years of denying knowledge about wrongdoing, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have a tough time maintaining his stance. In 2013, members of Christie's administration were accused of intentionally closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to cause problems for the mayor of Fort Lee, who didn't support Christie's re-election. Christie denied the allegations for himself and his senior staff:

"I've made it very clear to everybody on my senior staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this that they needed to come forward to me and tell me about it, and they've all assured me that they don't."

But now the truth comes out: in court filings, text messages between two staffers, Christina Renna and Peter Sheridan, during Christie's news conference in 2013 have indicated otherwise, according to a Wall Street Journal report:

"Are you listening?" Ms. Renna texted Mr. Sheridan, according to the filing. "He just flat out lied about senior staff and [campaign manager Bill] Stepien not being involved."

"I'm listening," Mr. Sheridan replied. "Gov is doing fine. Holding his own up there."

According to the filing, Ms. Renna replied: "Yes. But he lied. And if emails are found with the subpoena or ccfg [Chris Christie for Governor] emails are uncovered in discovery if it comes to that it could be bad."

Mr. Christie, encountering reporters outside a Manhattan radio studio after a guest-host stint on a sports-talk program, called the text-message matter "ridiculous."

"There's nothing new to talk about," he said, according to a video of the exchange posted by the Associated Press. Asked about Ms. Renna's remark that he had lied, Mr. Christie said "yeah, and she was wrong."

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you believe Christie's defense? Why or why not?
  • Big picture: What is most relevant in this situation? Let's not lose perspective.
  • Christie was making a run for president in the 2016 elections. Could this hurt his candidacy for 2020? Also, Trump didn't choose Christie as his running mate, although Christie expressed interest. To what extent do you think his decision was tied to this situation?

Recruiter Rejects Candidate for "Vulgar Comments"

O-OKCUPID-facebookThe Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) tells the story of a recruiter who rejected a candidate because of comments found on the dating app OkCupid. The recruiter, Sam Oliver, explains his decision in an article and describes the post: "[H]e was calling her obscene names and threatening sexual assault."

Oliver also describes his process for screening candidates online:

"Like most recruiters, I use a variety of sources when evaluating candidates - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, AngelList, github, reddit, dribbble, the list goes on. Most people's social media is pretty benign: shared memes and jokes, vacation photos, interactions with friends and family. When looking at people's social media, I'm mostly looking to corroborate facts and timelines on their resume - where they live, previous jobs, alma mater, etc. If they've put enough information out there, I might also get an accurate glimpse of their personality, which is very helpful in hiring."

"Unfortunately for him, he had used his LinkedIn head shot as one of his OKCupid profile photos, and it was very easy for me to confirm his identity via a reverse Google image search. To any seasoned recruiter, I deduced his real identity using well-known tricks of the trade; people often do not realize how much information is public and readily accessible via social media."

Both the SHRM article and Oliver explain that the rejection is perfectly legal. You may be thinking that you can't discriminate against applicants, but that applies only to certain qualities, such as race, sex, and age. On the other hand, employers have a legal responsibility to maintain a harassment- and discrimination-free environment, and an employee who writes "threatening" messages online may put an organization at risk. 

Although he had no obligation to, Oliver told the applicant why he wouldn't pass his resume along to his client, which gave the applicant a chance to deactivate some accounts and remove incriminating photos. 

This situation is a good lesson for students seeking jobs. Assume everything you post can be retrieved and traced back to you.

Discussion Starters:

  • Does the recruiter's decision surprise you? Why or why not? What are the downsides to rejecting a candidate based on social media posts?
  • What advice from Chapter 12 would have helped this applicant?
  • What about your own social media history may put your job search in jeopardy? Use Google and other sites to find as much information about yourself as you can.

Conversational Customer Service Wins Big Points

SkyscannerWhen Skyscanner travel app suggested a 47-year itinerary for a customer, he asked what he could do during the layover. Jen, the customer service rep didn't miss a beat: she's quick and fun, and includes her promise in the P.S.

The post went viral on Facebook, with people commenting on her spontaneity and lack of script. Customers are getting tired of the template response. The Houston Chronicle wrote, "We aren't sure who Jen is, but she totally just owned the Internet and we all loved it."

Social media responses have been getting friendlier. Perhaps companies (or their social media reps) are taking more risks. Sure, a negative post can cause all sorts of trouble, but this example and others prove that a positive, personal style by a human being can garner a lot of attention.

Discussion Starters:

  • Look at recent social posts by your favorite company. Analyze the tone and approach. Have you noticed a change over time?
  • Jen's strategy may not work for everyone. What are some risks of her casual style?

Sponsorships Getting Less Clear

Kylie JennerThe Federal Trade Commission has guidelines for celebrities and bloggers to reveal their sponsorship ties, but they are not consistently followed, and some say the guidelines could be clearer. Companies shell out thousands of dollars for people with large numbers of followers to mention their brands on social media. But what's the difference between testimony and an ad?

Mary K. Engle, the FTC's associate director for advertising practices told The New York Times that, although an endorsement has to be clear, they are not "prescriptive" about what's included in a social mention. The FTC guidelines suggest starting a post with something like "#Ad." According to the Times, "For example, simply saying 'thank you' to a brand or adding '#sp' or '#spon' probably isn't clear enough, while saying a brand is a 'partner' probably is," Engle said.

The organization Truth in Advertising wrote a letter to the Kardashian/Jenner family about recent posts they consider to be deceptive marketing. On her Instagram account, Kylie Jenner displays Fit Tea but fails to mention that this is a paid endorsement.

Discussion Starters:

  • Should the FTC create more specific guidelines for what to include in social media posts? Or should celebrities know better?
  • What's the value of disclosing that a celebrity is compensated by a brand? How, if it all, would a clearer marking affect your decision to buy a product?

Twitter's New Quality Filter

Twitter filterTwitter is still trying to make the site a kinder place, with fewer trolls and less abuse. Twitter's user base has been declining, and several celebrities have signed off permanently. The company, led by Jack Dorsey, has responded to complaints: "We are going to continue our work on making Twitter a safer place."

The latest attempt is a "quality filter," which Twitter explains on its blog:

"Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you've recently interacted with – and depending on your preferences, you can turn it on or off in your notifications settings."

Twitter frames the new features as ways to "Control Your Experience on Twitter." In addition to the filter, users can limit their notifications, for example, from only people they follow.

Discussion Starters:

  • How well is Twitter addressing criticism of bullying and harassment on the site? To what extent will these features address concerns?
  • How well did Twitter present the change on its blog?

At Last, Email Help?

Email "triage" tools can help us organize and our messages and, maybe, make better decisions about our communications. Hiri seems to focus on how people use email rather than on the tool itself. After all, we're the problem, not email. 

The company makes big claims: "Communication is the soul of your company. Hiri is an email app that helps you save time, organise your day, and improve communication." We'll see, but the app does have some nifty features:

  • A weekly score of your clarity, brevity, and tone. (I'm curious about how this is rated.)
  • A forced wait time of 30 minutes, to avoid checking email too often. This could be frustrating, but checking too often causes stress, according to some studies.
  • Distinguishing emails that require action from FYIs. Tasks are created from emails that require a response or action. This could be useful to diminish attention to all those emails on which we're copied. 

Discussion Starters: 

  • How could these features help people organize their time and improve communication?
  • Which email triage tools have you used in the past, and how have you found them helpful? 

Email Clouds Our Judgement

Email-Subject-Lines-that-Get-AttentionHasn't email ruined enough vacations, marriages, and careers? Will it now steal a chance at the presidency? Hillary Clinton's server issue is a symptom of a deeper problem: email causes us to make bad decisions. Several times, she admitted that she wished she had acted differently. We have all made mistakes on email: sent it to the wrong person, replied all, or sent a half-drunk, angry message in the middle of the night.

Millennials take blame for being constantly connected, but the Boomers are just as guilty, and we should know better. We know that email lives forever: on the sender's server, on the receiver's server, in print, posted on social media sites-in countless crevices. And double deleting doesn't save us from legal discovery software.

We assume a level of privacy because email has driven us to communicate quickly, often without any sense at all. We accept privacy policies without reading them, manage 122 emails a day, and "shoot" each other emails. As mobile use increases, email joins IM and texts, for which people expect an immediate response.

Advice and tools abound to reduce email dependence and volume. We should check email less often, use triage tools, and stop sending so damn many of them.

But these behavioral approaches miss the point: we love email. The immediacy and volume feed the micromanager's feelings of disconnection and lack of trust, making us dependent on email to function. We risk reputational and relational damage to maintain our addiction.

Clinton has experienced on a large scale what we have all come to realize about email: it owns us, and we are to blame.

Everyone needs a private cave like Fitzgerald Grant's on Scandal, and perhaps Clinton will get one. In the meantime, let's remember that no email message-nor any written communication that travels via the web or satellite-is truly private.

Image source.  

Too Much Social Media Sharing Affects Learning

RetweetHow much time do you spend each day giving feedback on social media posts? A study by researchers at Peking and Cornell Universities found that too much sharing on microblogging sites Twitter and Weibo causes cognitive issues.

Here are highlights of the findings:

  • Reposting online messages interferes with online information comprehension.
  • Reposting further compromises performance in a subsequent unrelated learning task.
  • Cognitive overload mediates the negative effect of reposting.

A premise of the study is how few original posts are on each site: 

At Weibo, for instance, 4.8% users contribute more than 80% of the original posts, whereas the majority users primarily comment on or repost others' messages (Fu & Chau, 2013). Similarly, more than half of Twitter users never post a message, whereas the top 10% most active users contribute to over 90% of all content (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2011).

From studying student-participants, the authors concluded that reposting items "interfered with participants' information comprehension both online and offline." The authors warn that people attend to functionality for feedback rather than content, and that more cluttered interfaces (um, Facebook's six new Reactions?) isn't helping. They also say that valuable time spent on cognitive functions, such as reflecting on and integrating information, is impaired, reducing our ability to process and comprehend information.

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • Intuitively, does this study make sense to you? Why or why not?
  • How do you think this research may translate to other social media platforms or online activities?
  • An article by The Independent was titled, "Why resharing on social media could be making you more stupid." Is this an overstatement? Why or why not?

Suing Glassdoor for Bad Reviews

GlassdoorIn addition to poor customer reviews online, companies are feeling the pinch of negative employee comments, and they're taking action. Glassdoor has been targeted as the largest site for employee reviews about company management, interview processes, benefits, and pay. The site has been issued subpoenas for the names of people who posted views thought to be anonymous.

A lawyer arguing the case against Glassdoor claims, "The right to anonymous speech also extends to the Internet and those constitutional principles [of free speech], but at the same time the Constitution does not protect defamation. It does not protect statements that are false or could give rise to other claims, for example, false light or tortious interference."

At issue is whether comments are true or "maliciously false." If true, comments may be protected, but if they are false, the author may not be protected. The National Labor Relations Board (NLBR) has a role, as I've written about before on BizComintheNews. An attorney James R. Redeker, at Duane Morris explains:

"If an employer tried to take action against an employee who it found published something in either social or public media anonymously-and/or published something that was false and misleading-the NLRB [National Labor Relations Board] general counsel and the board take the position that an employee is entitled to and protected in making statements with regard to the working conditions of their employer."

Glassdoor has refused hundreds of employers' requests for content to be removed and for identities to be revealed. The company argues, "Glassdoor is an anonymous community and we will vigorously fight on behalf of our users to protect their identities and right to free speech, provided they adhere to our community guidelines and terms of service."

Discussion Starters: 

  • What is an employee's responsibility when posting to sites such as Glassdoor?
  • Do you agree with Glassdoor's resistance to reveal identities and remove posts? Why or why not?
  • The attorney quoted in one of the articles said that companies can respond to comments online, but "...that's very unsatisfying. And sometimes it exacerbates the problem." What's your view? That's certainly how companies manage customer comments. How might this differ?

Illinois College Bans Yik Yak

Yik YakIllinois College President Barbara Farley made the tough call to block students from using the app Yik Yak. Posts are anonymous and can be seen by location. The app is notorious for attracting mean and sometimes racist comments, which has caused complaints by students and faculty. At Illinois College, the Student Senate, Black Student Union, and faculty members have been particularly vocal about Yik Yak problems. 

Students joke that the ban isn't really a ban at all because they can continue to access the app through their data plans. Although a handful of universities have banned the app, others refuse, partly for this reason. According to the vice president for student affairs at Duke University, "Since it can always be accessed via cell signal, no institution could truly eliminate it from their campus. For any institution to seek to silence it plays right into [Yik Yak's] hands...since what they seek is notoriety."

Several feminist and civil rights groups have urged the Department of Education to take action against Yik Yak. However, a Slate writer also argues that Yik Yak is helpful to students adjusting to college and struggling with mental illness. She says a university ban hurts some of the students they are trying to protect.

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your opinion of Yik Yak: is it more helpful to students or harmful?
  • How do you use the app?
  • Should universities ban the app? What are the considerations and possible consequences?

WhatsApp Announces End-to-End Encryption

WhatsAppFacebook-owned WhatsApp has announced end-to-end encryption, promising users more privacy. The news follows the recent debate between Apple and the FBI, which wanted to access iPhones of those involved in the San Bernardino terrorist shooting. 

In a blog post, WhatsApp co-founders describe the new technology. The post continues after the excerpt here: "The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation." The notice links to a description of the security features

PR Daily comments on the political implications of the technology and announcement:

As you can imagine, this will do nothing to foster good will in the already tenuous relationship between the United States government, which would seemingly prefer to be able to see everyone's data all the time, and tech companies in Silicon Valley, which are receiving increasing user demands for more privacy and security.

Discussion Starters: 

  • Assess the founders' blog post: the organization, word choice, and so on. What makes this a persuasive message? Where does it fall short?
  • Although the company ensures security, the system isn't foolproof. What are some ways that people other than the recipients might see a message?

"Brooklyn Bernie" Tweets

Hector SigalaA New York Times article touts Bernie Sanders' Twitter approach, including a ghost tweeter. Twenty-seven-year-old Hector Sigala, Sander's digital media director, tweets anything potentially newsworthy as it happens. 

If numbers matter, the article reports a comparison between the Democratic frontrunners: 

Sanders has close to 2 million followers on his Twitter campaign account and has tweeted nearly 8,000 times. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, has tweeted less, 5,000 times, but she has nearly 6 million followers.

Sanders, however, has an edge because his tweets are much more personalized than Clinton's, say some social media strategy experts.

"He's been able to really resonate with (different groups) and connect with them on a level that many other candidates have not been able to do," said marketing consultant and social media strategy specialist Dr. Kay Green.

Although Sigala is proud of increasing Sanders' followers from 50,000 to almost 2 million, he is more focused on how tweets perform and has learned a few things: 

"We have got to" do something will do significantly worse than a tweet reading "We gotta."

"That's because it sounds like Brooklyn Bernie," Sigala said with a laugh.

This one was retweeted 2.4 thousand times and liked 7.2 thousand times. Not too shabby.

Bernie Sanders Twitter

Image source

Discussion Starters: 

  • What makes a good campaign tweet? What principles do we know about social media posts that will help your response? 
  • How do numbers of social media likes and followers measure outcomes, and how do they fall short? What are the best measures of social media posts?

Snapchat Responds to Phising Scam

A Snapchat employee accidentally sent employees' personal information outside the company, and it has caused embarrassment. Snapchat has faced privacy concerns in the past, and now its own employees may question the company's security. 

The employee responded to a fake email that looked like it came from CEO Evan Spiegel. This is a common phising scam, which according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), is when "internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information." The FTC gives these examples of phising emails; we have all seen something similar:

  • "We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity."
  • "During our regular verification of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information."
  • "Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within 7 days to receive your refund."

Snapchat responded with an apology to its employees, posted on its blog

Snapchat apology

Discussion Starters: 

  • What are some clues that an email address is fake? 
  • Assess Snapchat's apology: word choice, tone, content, organization, and so on. 

Facebook's Reactions

Today, Facebook finally rolled out its new Reactions, a broader array of symbols to complement the traditional "like" button. The six new emojis let us express more refined feelings, such as love, laughter, sadness, and anger, and they are animated.

FB Reactions

The selections took Facebook a while. After user testing, the company settled on these six winners and decided how to represent them on a page. Too many cluttered posts, but too few got lost. Instead, the three most common reactions to posts will appear below each.

Quoted in Wired, Vyvyan Evans, a professor of linguistics at Bangor University said, "The stratospheric rise of emoji is essentially fulfilling the function of nonverbal cues in spoken communication." We miss, for example, facial expressions and gestures in Facebook posts and text messages, so emojis help us express our feelings.

Chevrolet seems first out of the gate to use the new Reactions in an ad. In this commercial, the company tells us, "Chevrolet looked out into a sea of likes and thought the time was right to love. Introducing the new Chevy Malibu. Start Loving."

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you love the new emojis, or do they make you sad or angry?
  • What downsides do see for Facebook to expand the options?