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Facebook's potential 'sympathy' button doesn't go far enough

OPINION

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December 10, 2013|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

Time to air a grievance: I'm becoming less and less interested in Facebook. What started off as a way to stalk possible hookups and find out what new poor life choices your friends are making has become a race to the absolute bottom of humanity.

That woman you watched the Super Bowl with once in college is sharing some BS link about how President Obama seriously once said that once guns are illegal, the Romulans will take over or something. That guy who used to bone your cousin got laid off, and he blames people who work at McDonald's like they told him to show up to work hung over every day for two weeks. It's too much!

Still, I was happy to hear the news the other day that engineers at Facebook have been working on tools to make the experience a little easier to stomach. Specifically, huffingtonpost.com reported that engineers have been working on a "sympathy" button that could be used to demonstrate some empathy when someone shares bad news.

Why stop there, though? Here are some other buttons Facebook needs to add in order to ... well, suck less.

The "hoax" button

Used for: That wonderful moment when someone on your timeline shares some outright nonsense. Oh, you found a report on some site called infoworld.woa that Kanye West claimed he was the next Darth Vader? Ah, a waiter got stiffed on a tip because he's cross-eyed? Sorry, Charlie.

The "cute pic, but shouldn't you be working?" button

Used for: Someone posting tons of cute photos between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.

The "I ugly cried to this" button

Used for: Puppies, kitties, videos of people performing acts of kindness and anything using the phrase "inspiring."

The "holy God, this is racist/sexist/homophobic/ignorant" button

Used for: When someone is being racist, sexist, homophobic or ignorant. Also allows you the option to automatically block that person.

The "you can't honestly believe someone's giving away thousands of dollars via sharing a photo on Facebook, can you, you gullible idiot?" button

Used for: 'Nuff said.

So while I'm not expecting these to happen, the world would immediately become better if they did. Remember: We can be the change we want to see on Facebook, America.

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman.

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