Posted October 26, 2009 9:44 am by with 4 comments

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JOLWith Halloween looming in the very near future one wonders if the ‘reconnect’ feature’s algorithm doesn’t have a little bit of ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ mischief in it or is programmed for the macabre. Either way it is managing to upset more than a few Facebook users with suggestions that border on the, well, bizarre.

Mashable shares with us some of the experiences that have been reported as a result of the Facebook ‘improvement’.

Unfortunately Facebook’s algorithms can’t account for some less desirable scenarios: according to Twitter reports, the site is recommending that users reconnect with ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. It’s recommending they reconnect with their (current) husband or wife. It’s even advising people to reconnect with friends who have died, causing obvious distress. These aren’t isolated cases: there are scores of Twitter reports of these issues.

Ouch. I am sure that Facebook will explain this away as some kind of innocent mistake but there are some larger considerations here. As we rush forward to more and more with social media there appears to be less concern about testing. Just put something out there and if it is broken then slap a ‘beta’ label on it or do something to explain it away. It appears that social media is more like sales than I ever imagined since asking for forgiveness trumps asking for permission by a country mile.

Here are a few examples of reactions to the service and its apparent lack of couth.

Facebook Reconnect 2 JPEG

So do you have any unfortunate reconnect stories to share? Is it possible as well that there are just Facebook haters that are telling these stories just to create a stir? Of course it is! Trick or treat!

  • I have not come across this feature of facebook yet but I have become increasingly frustrated with different parts of it over the past few weeks. It is really annoying how daily the layout changes only to find there is a bug with the new layout that will not let me do something that was really easy beforehand.

  • Ex Facebook Fan

    Repeatedly over the weekend, Facebook kept asking me to reconnect with a friend who passed away, completely unexpectedly, earlier this year.

    I don’t want to delete her from my friends, as I know her family takes comfort in seeing photos (she was only in her 30s) of her and they might disappear if I removed her from my friends list.

    A huge big fail from Facebook!

    • I suppose it is only fair to consider that there would be no realistic way of knowing this kind of information if an account is still ‘live’ and there are still mentions of a person in people’s contacts with others.

      Maybe we are just trying to do too much? Seth Godin’s post today about having the capacity for only 150 real contacts rings more true every day.

      Thanks for coming by everyone.
      .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..Is Aimless Meandering Just a Part of Social Media? =-.

  • Sour grapes. If I don’t like a recommendation, it is no problem to ignore it. I appreciate the suggestions and the service. Mature people can sort these things out. Why would anyone be offended? It’s just silly.