Facebook has apologised after a new feature inviting users to review a collection of their 2014 highlights caused some to be confronted with pictures of their recently deceased family members and friends.
The app selects from photos YOU have posted to YOUR Facebook page and neglected to remove once the subject has died. But somehow, this is all Facebook’s fault?
The issue was first highlighted by Eric Meyer, a web-design consultant from Cleveland, Ohio. Logging into Facebook, he was confronted by a picture of his six-year-old daughter, Rebecca, who died of brain cancer earlier this year, alongside the jaunty tagline: “Eric, here’s what your year looked like!”
In a blog post, Mr Meyer said he found the automatically generated image – which appeared against a background showing people celebrating – “jarring” and “wrong”, adding: “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.”
Oh well, you’re saying , it’s just those overly-emotional Americans. But not so…
…many other Facebook users complained of having similarly unpleasant experiences. Among them was Rosie from Haywards Heath in West Sussex, who wrote on Twitter that Facebook had “decided to entice me to view my year in review with a photo of my dead grandparents”.
Gosh, did they come to your house, rifle through your possessions & have it away on their toes with the snap?
No? You put it up & neglected to take it down?
The 31-year-old, who declined to give her surname, told The Independent: “My ‘Year in Review’ came up with a photo I’d posted following my Nonna’s unexpected passing recently. It struck me as ill-considered, because their algorithm clearly can’t distinguish why an image has been used – deceased relative, missing child, images taken following accidents or assaults – all things I’ve seen posted on Facebook this year which are hardly things you want to remember.
“For some, those images will trigger horrid memories. In my case, I’m fortunate that my grandparents’ deaths are something I’d come to terms with. But it was just a bit vulgar that it appeared in a supposedly celebratory function, because they just don’t know the context of those pics.”
Clearly, you’ve not come to terms with it at all…