While scrolling through your Facebook News Feed this holiday season, you probably encountered the typical statuses from friends: photographs of families opening gifts and inevitably, a few “Year in Review” posts, a photo slide of highlights from your Facebook Timeline over the past year.
I was first angered by the default text that everyone appeared to forget to edit. I initially thought it wasn’t possible to change it, actually.
Guys who’re sharing Facebook’a “Year in review”, it would be nice to at least edit the intro text from ‘It’s been… http://t.co/Kp3PSkPFGK
— Albert, MUCUNGUZI (@albertmuc) December 24, 2014
But it’s now been revealed there was more than one wrong thing about the app than the intro text, as pointed out on Twitter by a number of users.
Facebook: “Remember those memories that now make you sad? Look at your Year In Review!”.
— William Wilkinson (@willw) December 26, 2014
Years can be full of ups and downs, but the algorithm Facebook used to highlight accounts’ most-liked photos didn’t allow users to choose which photos they want to highlight–eliminating the chance to leave out pictures people may not have wanted to be reminded were there.
Writer and web design consultant Eric Meyer wrote in a blog post that because he lost his six-year-old daughter to brain cancer in 2014, his year hadn’t been “great,” as the uniform Facebook post declared.
“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,” Meyer wrote. “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. Coming from code, it’s just unfortunate.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, Facebook’s Jonathan Gheller said he had reached out to Meyer and apologized for any pain the post has caused.
“[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy, “It’s valuable feedback,” Gheller said. “We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.”