Facebook has admitted its ‘Year in Review’ posts may not be for everyone, issuing an apology to a grieving father who was inadvertently shown a picture of his dead daughter in the photo round up on the site.
The incident occurred as a result of a Facebook feature creating a special post from users' most liked photos of the year. Eric Meyer described the service as “inadvertent algorithm cruelty” after being presented with a picture of his dead child as one of his highlights in 2014.
He reacted with a post on his blog which reads: “To show me Rebecca’s face and say ‘Here’s what your year looked like!’ is jarring. It feels wrong and coming from an actual person, it would be wrong.
“My year looked like the now-absent face of my little girl. It was still unkind to remind me so forcefully,” he continued. “I know, of course, that this is not a deliberate assault. 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 the marina outside their vacation house.”
Jonathan Gheller, product manager for Facebook’s “Year in Review” app, gave Meyer a personal apology and told The Washington Post: “[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy."
Facebook is reportedly exploring ways to improve the app with Meyer’s concerned noted.