As the clock inches closer to 2015, Facebook unveiled its “Year in Review” feature, which automatically generated a post of users’ most popular photos of the year, which they could then share with friends. But one father was upset after his “Year in Review” featured images of his daughter, who died from brain cancer on her sixth birthday earlier in 2014.
“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,” Eric Meyer, a Web design consultant and writer published in a blog post this past Wednesday.
“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,” Meyer wrote in his post, which went viral shortly after being included in a piece by The Washington Post.
Facebook then reached out to Meyer to provide an apology for his experience with the “Year in Review” feature.
“(The app) was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy,” Jonathan Gheller, the product manager for Facebook’s “Year in Review” app told The Washington Post.
“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.”
In response to the apology from Gheller, Meyer published a new blog post this past Saturday titled “Well, That Escalated Quickly.”
“So the first thing I want to say: I owe the Year in Review team in specific, and Facebook in general, an apology. No, not the other way around,” Meyer wrote in his post. “I am very sorry that I dropped the Internet on (Gheller’s head) for Christmas. He and his team didn’t deserve it.”