Facebook apologizes to man for ‘Year in Review’ feature

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Facebook has apologized to at least one person over its “Year in Review” feature, which highlighters the user’s biggest moments of 2014.

The default tagline for the feature is, “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” It then compiles a series of photos from throughout the year, customized for each user.

The Washington Post reported that the feature showed some painful memories for Eric Meyer, a web design consultant and writer. He lost his daughter to brain cancer on her sixth birthday.

The Year in Review showed a face of his daughter, surrounded by celebratory clip art.

He wrote in a blog post that he actively avoided looking at previews of his Year In Review because of the rough year he had.

Meyer said he knows Facebook didn’t intend to bring up this painful memory, but he believes the Year in Review feature has a design flaw. He blogged about it, saying the following:

This inadvertent algorithmic cruelty is the result of code that works in the overwhelming majority of cases, reminding people of the awesomeness of their years, showing them selfies at a party or whale spouts from sailing boats or the marina outside their vacation house.

But for those of us who lived through the death of loved ones, or spent extended time in the hospital, or were hit by divorce or losing a job or any one of a hundred crises, we might not want another look at this past year.

Facebook’s Jonathan Gheller said he reached out to Meyer to apologize.

“(The app) was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy,” he told the Post.

Read more: The Washington Post

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