Malaysia & Hong Kong leaders suffer wrath of Facebook Reactions in APAC

The social network's new functions have led to thousands of people expressing their displeasure with the two leaders, while others have come off well

Leung has come under much criticism on his Facebook page through the new 'angry' reaction
Leung has come under much criticism on his Facebook page through the new 'angry' reaction

Netizens across Asia-Pacific are using the new Facebook Reactions to let their leaders know what they think of them, as some of those in charge feel the heat from their constituents online.

Facebook launched its new service last Friday, and it took no time at all for the Hong Kong and Malaysian premieres to come under fire on Facebook.

Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s chief executive, was subjected to waves of criticism through use of Facebook’s new ‘angry’ Reaction, barely a few hours after the new functions became available.

At the time of publication, Leung’s last post on Saturday, in which he attended a fundraising dinner, had garnered 74,000 angry emoticons and just 3,600 likes (click on the post to see the Reactions).


Posted by CY Leung on Saturday, 27 February 2016

Leung has been heavily criticised by the public for his perceived meekness in protecting Hong Kong’s democracy from being threatened by increased Chinese influence.

The previous post has attracted 119,000 ‘angry’ reactions, against just 2,800 likes.

It is a similar situation for Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, who has for months been battling accusations of corruption.

Salam Jumaat. Di dalam khutbah hari ini, Khatib mengingatkan kita mengenai kepentingan kesatuan ummah. Sesungguhnya,...

Posted by Najib Razak on Friday, 26 February 2016

After less than three hours, Razak’s most recent post had more than 3,000 angry reactions and 1,000 likes. The post before had 9,900 angry emoticons and 8,600 likes.

Citizens are making their feelings known and, perhaps crucially, while Facebook page owners can delete comments from their posts, they cannot remove Reactions.

On the other hand, some leaders in APAC are enjoying the benefits of Facebook reactions.

True to its name, this precinct has an excellent view. Some of my residents might find this easier than others. #guesswhere :) - LHL (Photo by me)

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Friday, 26 February 2016

Serial picture poster Lee Hsien Loong, prime minister of Singapore, has received thousands of ‘laugh’, ‘wow’ and ‘love’ responses to his posts and very few angry ones. 

Equally, while his numbers are not as high, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has received significantly more positive reactions than negative ones.

Great to have some time together with Lucy at the National Gallery of Victoria. It's not a bus, but the wheels on this sculpture do go round and round! #ngv

Posted by Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday, 27 February 2016

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