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Facebook Couples: Your Relationships as Curated by an Algorithm

Facebook took everyone’s “friendships” to the next level, and as usual it was met with less than enthusiastic responses.  If you visit facebook.com/us you will be directed to a mashup of posts and photos of you and your significant other.  This couple’s  page is an extension of the friendship pages that have been around for the last two years.  On the surface, a page dedicated to the timeline of a long-term relationship, especially for married couples, might be a feature that some Facebook users would like.  However, the page is not created by the users; it is created by the Facebook programming.  Users do not have any control over the existence of the page or any direct control over the content that appears on it.

“You cannot deactivate the pages, but you can control what you share on Facebook using the privacy settings for each post,” Facebook’s Jessie Baker wrote in an e-mail to CNN. “The friendship page respects the privacy setting of each post. This means the person viewing the friendship page may see each post elsewhere on Facebook, like on either friend’s timeline or in news feed. You can curate your friendship page by hiding stories you do not want to appear.

“As a reminder, selecting to ‘hide’ an object from your timeline or friendship page does not remove it from Facebook, and the object may show up in other places such as news feed. If you would like to remove a story you posted from Facebook altogether, you can do so by selecting delete post or untagging yourself from photos.”

In other words, Facebook is going to do what they want with your interactions on their site.  It’s up to you to control what you share and who you share it with.

There is a particular “eeeewwwww” factor in having the details of your Facebook conversations with your significant other being curated by the Facebook algorithm for the amusement of your friends and theirs.  Here are a few choice headlines I found as I was researching this article.

  • Facebook couples pages give a virtual tour of your love life
  • Cute or cringey? Facebook ‘likes’ couples with special pages
  • Facebook ‘couples pages’ make me want to retch
  • Why Facebook’s relationship pages creep me out over privacy
  • Facebook’s Couples Pages Are Making Some People Sick
  • Dear Facebook couples page, what happens when we break up?
  • Facebook’s New Scrapbook-Like ‘Couples’ Pages’ Is Cringeworthy
  • Ugh, Facebook Couples Pages Are Here

Aside from how much derision Facebook is receiving from the blogosphere, the potential to create something truly lame is immense.  My husband and I have been married for 16 years.  We have 3 great kids, and live a very active life.  Although both of us have Facebook accounts, we DON’T share much of it publicly on Facebook.  Our couple page is about as lame as it gets.

My Couple Page 637x580 Facebook Couples: Your Relationships as Curated by an Algorithm

As you can see, Facebook hasn’t even updated us to a timeline style page, yet… All of the Wall Posts are from me because I’m the one that actively uses Facebook.  And since my husband hates to have his picture taken, there are only 8 photos being pulled into this page that we are both tagged in.  If you are hoping to get to know us as a couple, it would be far better to meet us for lunch sometime.

Aside from satisfying the weird voyeuristic needs of some people to snoop around the relationships of others, the only purpose this can serve is to keep those weirdos logged into Facebook a while longer and serve up a few more ads.

 Facebook Couples: Your Relationships as Curated by an Algorithm
Michelle is the co-host of the popular Social Media discussion group #SocialChat, blogger, and Social Media Advocate/Consultant +Michelle Stinson Ross
 Facebook Couples: Your Relationships as Curated by an Algorithm
 Facebook Couples: Your Relationships as Curated by an Algorithm

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6 thoughts on “Facebook Couples: Your Relationships as Curated by an Algorithm

  1. if this was the only problem with facebook. though it runs inline with contacting them for real assistance. when i signed up it accessed my messinger list without my permission and bypassed my password or stole it to do so. facebook has some serious privacy issues

  2. So glad I deleted Facebook like 4 months ago. Their intrusion into private matters is out of control. Why don’t they give people the option to completely delete that kind of stuff if they don’t want it. I wish more people would ditch it and move on with their lives.

  3. More proof that Facebook is way past whatever prime it may have had. They have lost (what little) touch they had with their users years ago and just keep rolling out ridiculous nonsense like this under the guise that as a society we all ‘need to be more social’. Absolute BS on so many levels it’s truly astounding.

  4. Just like anybody else i have always used facebook, but am now considering deleting it. Its just getting too much into my personal life & i hate it.

  5. What’s the difference between this and the “see friendship” feature that has been active for a long time? You can see a mutual page with every single one of your facebook friends, not just the person you’re in a relationship with…