Facebook Issues Apology For ‘Year In Review’ Videos Drumming Up Painful Memories

You may have seen a lot of your Facebook friends posting their “Year In Review” videos all over your feed lately and reminding everyone of what has happened in 2014. Well, with Facebook being a place that people share everything, good or bad, these videos haven’t exactly been bringing up only fantastic memories.

It appears as if the format and program put in place for coming up with the “Year In Review” videos was not properly planned out. As TIME reported, the algorithm used by Facebook brought forth the the photos and status updates which had the most likes and not those memories specifically chosen by users.

The main tag line for the Year In Review video from Facebook states, “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.”

For Eric Meyer, a writer and web design consultant, 2014 was not a great year. He lost his six-year-old daughter to brain cancer during 2014, and the “Year In Review” video wasn’t something that was great.

“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. 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.”

Once Meyer’s story was brought forth and started being passed around the Internet, it made its way to Jonathan Gheller, the product manager of Facebook. He immediately reached out to Meyer and apologized for bringing back such painful memories.

“[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. We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.”

While it has to be assumed that Facebook never meant to bring bad memories up and have people relive them in what seems like pleasant ways, something needs to be fixed. They need to take into consideration that “Likes” and comments don’t always mean a positive moment in life.

The fact that there isn’t a “Dislike Button” means that many people will like a status or picture because they aren’t quite sure what to say. A “Like” at least lets a person know that someone was there, saw their post, and they are thinking about them.

Don’t get upset if your “Year In Review” video from Facebook isn’t the happiest thing in the world, even if it says it is. Sometimes, algorithms can go wrong, and that was the case for some people this time around.

[Image via Jezebel]

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