Facebook offers apology for app after blogger’s post

12/31/2014 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

California – Facebook offered an apology for its “Year in Review” app, after a blogger’s post drew negative attention to it. As reported by WebProNews, the social networking giant apologized to a man who had lost his daughter to an illness earlier in 2014, and wrote about his experience of seeing her in his News Feed from pictures generated by the app.

The man, Eric Meyer, is quoted as writing in his blog, “Yes, my year looked like that. True enough. My year looked like the now-absent face of my little girl. It was still unkind to remind me so forcefully.

And 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 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 “Year in Review” product manager Jonathan Gheller subsequently stated he reached out to Meyer, apologizing for the grief caused by the feature.

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