“Feels good, man” emoticon will now feel better

, Product Marketing | October 05, 2016


HipChat is made for teams—teams powered by people of all sizes, shapes, colors, creeds, backgrounds, and domestic animal affiliations (cat people, dog people, iguana people, whatever). We believe that great teams thrive on inclusion, working together to achieve awesome things. That’s why we’ve made a small change in our product that has big significance: we updated our (feelsgoodman) and (feelsbadman) emoticons.

Last week, we learned that Pepe the Frog, a meme we’ve used for our (feelsgoodman) and (feelsbadman) emoticons, have been labeled a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. Through tweets (thanks to those who reached out!) and the news, we quickly knew this was something we wanted to address.

Since their addition almost two years ago, these emoticons have been used and enjoyed by thousands of users. Needless to say, things have changed since then, but the way we feel about teams has not. HipChat is a space for all people on all teams, and we will never promote something we feel is exclusionary.

Our team immediately came together to discuss the situation and ultimately came to a conclusion. Of course Pepe predates his recent usage by hate groups, and not all uses of Pepe are inherently about promoting hate. Regardless, we recognize that the context in which a meme begins isn’t always the context in which it stays. The positive associations that some may intend to convey with Pepe will not always come across as intended in light of his more recent negative associations.

So while we love Pepe and are sad that he’s been appropriated by people who want to spread hate and fear, we have decided to replace our emoticons featuring him with something that won’t be misinterpreted as spreading or condoning such division.

As the place your team spends their days collaborating, everyone should feel welcome. We make these changes with our company values in mind. Inclusion, or “Play as a team,” is a value we hold dear, and always will.

So, you ask, what have we replaced Pepe with? Check out our all-new emoticons for (feelsgoodman) and (feelsbadman), starring a titan of the silver screen: John Goodman! Yep, we got punny. And it feels good, man!

If you don’t yet see the new emoticons, please restart your app. For those of you that are on HipChat Server, the new emoticons will be added in the 2.0.5 version. Head to HipChat to give these two new emoticons a try!

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