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).
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.
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.
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.