Facebook Apologizes For ‘Year In Review’ Montages
[su_right_ad]Over the past few days you may have noticed Facebook posts, usually titled “It’s been a Great Year” popping up on your friends’ feeds and maybe even your own. It’s a compilation of photos and stories posted during 2014, repackaged to help you reminisce about all the wonderful things you over-shared with friends and family. It was designed by Facebook to give its users a nice memento of the “great” year gone by. The only problem is that it hasn’t been a great year for everyone. As someone, whose own Facebook feed this year announced some sad events, I watched closely to make sure my ‘Year In Review’ montage never happened. Yet others were caught by surprise and are quite unhappy at having to publicly relive the sadder moments of 2014.
Eric Meyer, a web design consultant and writer, is one of those people. Earlier this year, he lost his daughter to brain cancer on her sixth birthday. For that reason, Meyer wrote in a blog post, he had actively avoided looking at previews of his own automatically generated summary post. But Facebook put a personalized prompt advertising the feature in his newsfeed, he wrote, prominently featuring the face of his dead daughter — surrounded by what appears to be clip art figures having a party.
Now, Facebook is not going out of its way to be intentionally cruel. Rather, a simple mathematical algorithm is to blame for highlight the low lights and celebrating things best forgotten. Now aware of this unfortunate situation, Facebook says it is sorry.
According to The Washington Post, Facebook’s product manager for Year in Review, Jonathan Gheller, reached out to Meyer and personally apologized. “[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy,” Gheller reportedly said. “We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.”[su_csky_ad]