For Some, Facebook's 'Year in Review' Is Just Cruel

One bereft dad would really rather not be reminded of his dead daughter
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2014 10:09 AM CST
For Some, Facebook's 'Year in Review' Is Too Soon
This Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 photo, shows a board with the Facebook logo inside the new Facebook data centers in Altoona, Iowa.   (AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Charlie Litchfield)

Facebook's "Year in Review" videos have clogged newsfeeds for what seems like eons now, but for some people they're more than annoying: They're a stinging reminder of a year we'd rather close the lid on. Such is the case of Eric Meyer, who lost his 6-year-old daughter to brain cancer, reports the Washington Post. And while seeing endless tags proclaiming, "It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it" was one thing, seeing the image of his dead child surrounded by partying clip art figures went beyond the bounds of decency. "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," he writes on his blog (he also posts the offending image).

While Meyer acknowledges that, yes, his year in fact "looked like the now-absent face of my little girl," he's also asking Facebook to take steps to avoid shoving it in his face—like asking if a user wants to see an image or not auto-filling it with an image. Responds the "Year in Review" product manager, "It's valuable feedback. We can do better—I'm very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post." Meyer isn't alone, notes Mashable: Many users are upset with Facebook's persistence in pushing the feature. Part of the problem is Facebook's culture of default positivity, writes Darren Orf for Gizmodo. "After all, you can only 'like' but never 'dislike,' so it's not surprising that the company may have overlooked the idea that many of us, like Meyer, had a pretty terrible 2014 and really don't need to be reminded of it." (More Facebook stories.)

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