Another new Facebook feature highlights ‘Inadvertent Algorithmic Cruelty’

Josh Dzieza writing for The Verge:

When Sean Forbes logged onto Facebook last week, he was confronted with the photograph of a Navy friend, standing in front of a tangerine sunset with his wife and son, smiling into the camera. Forbes had made the post three years ago to the day, after learning that his friend had committed suicide. “R.I.P.” Forbes had written on his friend’s page at the time. “I’ve known you and your family 12 years and I’m at a complete loss at your passing.”
 Forbes’ memorial resurfaced through Facebook’s new On This Day feature, which highlights past posts on a private page and sometimes inserts them into your News Feed. The feature began rolling out to limited groups last Tuesday. “I was just in shock that this would be the image they’d choose,” Forbes says. “It’s just such an in-your-face reminder of what happened, and it dredges up old memories and feelings.”

It can’t be long before Facebook provide some sort of flag to allow us all to mark some content as ‘personal’, ‘private’ or ‘painful’ although I doubt they’d allow such negative wording to appear on their website. It’s not a coincidence that there’s no ‘Dislike’ button.

At least this feature is opt-in. From another Verge post about the feature:

Starting today, when users visit Facebook on the web or on their phones, they’ll get an option to view the On This Day page … You can also then sign up for notifications so you remember to check it every day

Read the full article here.