Backlash Over Facebook’s “Year in Review”

Sections of this topic

    Social network taking heat after failing to consider not every memory of 2014 is a happy one

    Facebook’s “Year in Review” was created to help users celebrate the events of 2014 (and of course drive engagement with the social network), but for many who experienced less-than-pleasant times the notifications come as unrelenting reminders of things they’d rather forget. From repeatedly seeing the faces of loved ones who have passed to being reminded of painful breakups, many Facebook users are complaining that Year in Review is inappropriate and intrusive.

    One bereaved father became the face of this problem after blogging about the app reminding him of his daughter who had passed, and Facebook did eventually reach out to apologize to him personally, as well as offering this statement to the media:

    “[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy. It’s valuable feedback. We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.”

    This is a perfect reminder of why every brainstorming session needs that person who’s looking for flaws, who’s constantly asking the question, “how could this go wrong?” The folks at Facebook are certainly intelligent, and it doesn’t take a major stretch of the imagination to see that many wouldn’t want to have the previous year’s events thrust in their face. Then the Year in Review app could still have been released, but as an opt-in feature, and the strife they’ve put a large number of stakeholders through could have been avoided.

    Don’t surround yourself with yes-men, take advantage of that doubting tendency to better protect yourself. It may throw a wrench in the works from time to time, but your crisis management capabilities will be enhanced immensely as a result.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]

    – See more at: