Science & Tech

Why Facebook should perhaps get rid of its 'On This Day' memories feature

British journalist Julia McFarlane had a shock on Tuesday when Facebook bought up a traumatic memory unbidden.

The BBC reporter took to Twitter to share the picture Facebook's 'On This Day' feature had decided to show her, showing the aftermath of a terrorist bombing in Beirut that she reported on in 2012.

The picture shows a woman crying who has raised a hand to her head, and several other worried-looking people. Facebook decorated it with cutesy pictures, including a cat, and apparently balloons.

Eight people died and 110 were wounded in the car bomb explosion three years ago that killed two high profile Lebanese intelligence service bosses. The bombing is thought to have been part of the spill over from neighbouring Syria's civil war.

Several of MacFarlane's followers were quick to point out that the image was inappropriate, and the journalist herself tweeted that "algorithms aren't all that":

On This Day, Facebook's version of third party app TimeHop, pulls up old posts and tags from previous years.

And it isn't the only Facebook development that has been criticised recently. At the end of 2014, the 'Year in Review' feature came under fire for bringing up tragic life events in what was dubbed "inadvertent algorithmic cruelty".

The social media giant later apologised for stirring up bad memories.

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