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Facebook scraps custom reaction buttons, including the rainbow Pride flag

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Facebook’s little rainbow Pride reaction is sadly missing this year.

A popular feature released by the social network last year, the rainbow flag custom reaction was made available during Pride Month (in select countries), but if you’re looking to use it this year, you won’t find it.

It’s not just the Pride flag reaction either. First reported by Business Insider, Facebook is canning custom reactions entirely. “We are no longer doing custom reactions for major holidays or moments in culture,” spokeswoman Lisa Stratton said in an email statement to Mashable.

Last year's Pride reaction on Facebook.

Last year’s Pride reaction on Facebook.

Facebook’s enhanced ‘like’ buttons were launched in 2016, including “angry,” “haha,” and “love,” options, and they’ve dabbled in custom reactions like the Pride flag and the purple Mother’s Day flower reactions since then. Importantly, Facebook didn’t make the Pride flag available in every country last year — it was suspiciously absent from the profiles of some users living in countries that oppress members of the LGBTQ community.  

More than a few people voiced their disappointment that the rainbow flag reaction hadn’t returned this year, heading to another platform, Twitter, to voice their opinions.

Although the flag reaction is now gone, Facebook hasn’t ignored Pride Month at all. It’s released a handful of themed features on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram this week, including the usual Facebook profile frames, personalized Pride-themed post options, new face filters, effects and masks for Messenger, and a whole bunch of stickers. 

These features, notably, will be available year-round.

Messenger's Pride effects.

Messenger’s Pride effects.

Facebook has also worked with GLAAD to identify Instagram hashtags that people throughout the LGBTQ community use frequently, and throughout Pride Month, you’ll see a rainbow gradient on these hashtags.

Facebook's new Camera effects.

Facebook’s new Camera effects.

“The LGBTQ community has always been a celebrated part of Facebook,” read a blog post from the social network. 

“We know representation and having a community matters — whether that be LGBTQ people sharing photos that can change hearts and minds, or using our products, like Facebook Groups, to find a supportive network.”

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