Facebook users can now choose between five emotives to better express themselves when they hit the “Like” button, a feature that people of Hong Kong have gleefully utilized to show their disapproval of the city’s widely unpopular leader.
On Feb. 26, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, better known as CY Leung, uploaded to his official Facebook page three photos of himself attending a Lunar New Year banquet organized by an employers’ federation. Within three hours, he had garnered over 20,000 “angry” Facebook reactions. By the eight hour mark, there were more than 57,000 fuming red emoticons as opposed to over a thousand vanilla “likes.”
That same evening, prominent student activist Joshua Wong posted to his public Facebook account instructions on how to “angry” Like the profile picture on CY Leung’s Facebook page.
“Step 1: Click on 689’s big head to access his profile pic. Step 2: Hold the ‘like’ button until the angry face emerges. Step 3: Shift finger to the angry face and release,” Wong wrote. The number 689 references the total number of votes out of 1,200 that Leung garnered during the 2012 elections for the chief executive, a narrow margin of victory that Hongkongers mock him for.
Wong’s call to “angry” Like appears to have worked—as of midnight, CY Leung’s Facebook profile picture has over 64,000 “angry faces.”
CY Leung is deeply loathed for being too pro-Beijing. Shortly after coming to office, he tried to introduce a “national education” in schools, a move that inspired mass protests (a then 15-year-old Joshua Wong shot to fame for playing a key role in the protests) because the proposed syllabus included communist propaganda. During his tenure, Leung has also made several statements that hewed too closely to the Chinese regime’s political line.