Did You Notice This Tiny Facebook Redesign That Has Sparked a Massive Row? 6 years ago

Did You Notice This Tiny Facebook Redesign That Has Sparked a Massive Row?

Facebook regards itself as a progressive, modern company which celebrates diversity and supports equality in all areas. 

And now the social media platform has joined in the battle for gender equality with a subtle redesign which puts women centre-stage.

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Facebook designer, Caitlin Winner made a small but meaningful change when she switched up the Facebook friends logo this week.

In a bid to reflect the the feminist message she learned "as a woman, educated at a women's college", the staffer switched the positioning of the male and female icons, putting the woman standing in front.

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The new icons can be seen in darker blue (image via Facebook.) 

Although many of us may not have even noticed the original icon, Winner revealed on medium.com that she was offended by it.

She wrote: "It was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon," she wrote.

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"The woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in."

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But Caitlin does not plan on stopping there.

She also wants to scrap the image of the briefcase (used to represent work) as she feels it's symbolic of a time when women didn't go to the office.

briefcase

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The current Facebook symbol for work is a briefcase. 

The redesign received a largely positive response but has caused some waves in the tech and design worlds.

On an industry website, Designer News, commenters fought back against the changes.

One user wrote: "The silhouettes themselves look nicer I think, but I don't quite get the logic.

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"The man was in front, which is unfair, so I put the woman in front, which is fair?"

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013 conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Zuckerberg, who has been pushing for a revision of U.S. immigration law, plans to meet with the top four Republicans in the House next week in Washington. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2006. 

Another designer questioned how far the social media site needs to go to support political correctness.

He wrote: "While we're at it, those silhouettes are clearly VERY white, middle class people.

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"Those are two very white, middle class hair-dos."

Caitlin Winner has defended her choice saying: "We all want to continue to make Facebook the best it can be."