Business Technology

Monday 27 March 2017

Facebook alters feature to hide ex-lovers

Changes to the Photo Memories sidebar will prevent old photos of ex-lovers from popping up on the Facebook pages of unsuspecting users.

Claudine Beaumont

Facebook has faced fierce criticism in recent months over the way it handles personal data. Photo: Bloomberg News
Facebook has faced fierce criticism in recent months over the way it handles personal data. Photo: Bloomberg News

Facebook has amended its Photo Memories feature to prevent the service displaying pictures of people’s ex-partners on the social networking site.

The Photo Memories tool, which flashes up images from picture galleries that Facebook users haven’t viewed in a while, often unwittingly picks out photos of former wives, husbands or partners, to the consternation of some Facebook users.

Facebook said the changes to the Photo Memories feature would “help heal the heartache” for users, but relies on Facebook members “informing” the site of who they have dated and broken up with by changing their relationship status on their Facebook profile page.

“While users may still see Photo Memories of their former romantic partners if they didn’t declare their relationship on Facebook – as well as their current partner with that person’s former partners – the change should help heal the heartache for many users,” said Sam Odio, a project manager at Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, has long acknowledged the inherent difficulty of using computer algorithms to determine the complex and ever-changing relationships between members of the social networking site.

“You never want to be presented with a list as a user of exactly the people who you focused on the most, and to see a girl you’re flirting with at the top, and an ex-boyfriend next to that, especially when other people might be over your shoulder when you’re using Facebook,” he said in a recent interview with Fast Company.

Facebook has faced fierce criticism in recent months over the way it handles personal data. The site was forced to simplify its privacy settings after users said it was too complicated to lock down their profiles so that they were only sharing certain information with certain people, while it emerged last month that some third-party application developers had collected the Facebook IDs of users, in contravention of Facebook’s developer policy.

Telegraph.co.uk

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