In what looks like a surrealistic nightmare, Facebook hid the post announcing the death of one of the friends of user Caryn Vainio in her feed. The woman had no idea that her friend suddenly died in a hospital. So, she kept communicating with that person long after their death.
Before his death, the now-late user posted a status update to notify his family and friends that he was in a hospital. Vainio says that she missed the update even though she has a habit of reading all her feed chronologically. Her friends that were also friends with the man weren’t able to read the status update either.
Not only have I lost a friend, a bunch of us are horrified that we never knew, and we don’t know if he KNEW we didn’t know,
Vainio lamented in a recent blog post.
Facebook Keeping Friend’s Death Secret
She blames Facebook for keeping the death secret at a time when it was crucial for her to hear about it. In the past, the social media giant was accused of mistakenly inserting negative posts in users’ feeds. It is the first report about Facebook failing to display a negative post.
So, what happened? The site’s algorithms that sift through personal information considered that that particular info was not relevant for Vainio and her friends. She believes that because her late friend was not very into posting status updates, the platform considered his last status update as not important.
Facebook algorithms take many factors into consideration when establishing “relevancy”. Those factors include the feedback to the post and the users’ past interaction with one another.
Users can bypass the algorithms by picking the “Most Recent” method of displaying posts. However, that method doesn’t guarantee either that you are seeing all the posts or just what Facebook has chosen for you to see.
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