Facebook Apologizes to Grieving Father After 'Year in Review' Brings Back Painful Memories

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Even for those of us who didn't jump on the 'Year in Review' bandwagon, we all know that Facebook rolled out the feature this December and tons of our "friends" took advantage of the opportunity to see what their last 365 days looked like on social media.

The feature surrounded your photos with clip-art of people partying and having a great time and offered the opportunity to share it with your friends with the text "It's been a great year, thanks for being a part of it."

Unfortunately for some, it WASN'T a great year and for one grieving father in particular, the prompt he saw on his page, offering him the opportunity to make his 'Year in Review' was especially disturbing.

Web design consultant Eric Meyer lost his daughter in 2014 and his 'Year in Review' prompt featured his now-deceased daughter's face in the middle of the partying clip-art with the caption "Eric, here's what your year looked like!"

"Yes, my year looked like that. True enough," he wrote on a blog post. "My year looked like the now-absent face of my little girl. It was still unkind to remind me so forcefully."

Eric understands that it was Facebook's algorithm and not an ill-intentioned person who presented him with that sad reminder of his year. "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," he wrote.

To their credit, Facebook reached out to Eric and apologized. "[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy," Jonathan Gheller, Facebook's product manager for the 'Year in Review' app told the The Washington Post. "It's valuable feedback. We can do better - I'm very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post."

Eric did offer some suggestions on his blog post that might help prevent this unfortunate situation from happening to someone else next year, but Jonathan didn't specify whether or not they were considering those particular fixes or trying to come up with others.
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