December 28, 2014 8:00 am -

[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]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

9 responses to Facebook Apologizes For ‘Year In Review’ Montages

  1. Larry Schmitt December 28th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I just found it annoying, and I can’t make it disappear from the Android version on my phone. Fortunately I don’t live my life on Facebook, (that’s what this site is for) so it doesn’t matter in the end.

  2. mea_mark December 28th, 2014 at 10:14 am

    People are worried about the government being too intrusive but companies like facebook they’re not. I really don’t understand people and their paranoias. There is something to be genuinely worried about but it’s OK and the thing that can be controlled by our actions and our votes is to be endlessly worried about. In my opinion facebook should be avoided wherever and whenever possible.

    • Larry Schmitt December 28th, 2014 at 10:16 am

      If I didn’t have family all over the country, I wouldn’t be there. As it is, I keep my personal info to a minimum, and have only a handful of “friends,” most of them family.

      • rg9rts December 28th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

        Can’t you do essentially the same thing with email?

        • Larry Schmitt December 28th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

          I tried that, and people aren’t as willing to do that on a regular basis. They want something they can post once, that everyone can see. Facebook is entrenched, and it’s not going away.

          • rg9rts December 28th, 2014 at 1:56 pm

            Their loss…like not using voice mail…it wasn’t that important

  3. rg9rts December 28th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Whats facebook?

    • mea_mark December 28th, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Something to be avoided and forgotten about. Good job. 🙂

    • fancypants December 28th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      its something you have to deal with if you work for a corporation