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New rule: Reactions and Harassment


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A few years back, we introduced the use of Reactions, emojis that provided an easy way to indicate that you liked a post or found something confusing or funny. This was partially motivated as a way to increase social interaction while reducing spates of one-line "Haha!" or "I agree with so-and-so" posts. For the most part, I think it has worked.

However, I've come to realize over time that some of the emoji options lend themselves to abuse where people in spats just drop negative emojis on one another, or worse go around following a user into threads they're otherwise not participating in to drop these negative reactions on a specific person. From personal experience, it's a very tempting way to make your distaste for someone or their opinions known,  but it can go too far. Since that's neither constructive nor good for the community, after discussion with other moderators I've decided to try and crack down on it.

While we consider further whether to adjust what emojis are available or not, the first step is this: users who feel they are being harassed via emoji can report this to the moderators and we'll look into it. If we find it's true, a warning will be issued. If there are further reports that are actionable, we will revoke the ability to leave reactions on the posts of others.

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