A Facebook employee holds a laptop with a 'like' sticker on it during an event at Facebook headquarters during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California
A Facebook employee holds a laptop with a 'like' sticker on it during an event at Facebook headquarters during an event at Facebook headquarters on April 4, 2013 in Menlo Park, California

Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ tool introduces option to hide bad memories, stopping notifications about exes or dead relatives

Users can pick a date or a person that is associated with sad memories, and have them hidden

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 14 October 2015 09:14
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Facebook will now let users hide people from its “On This Day” feature, avoiding people being notified about posts they were part of with their exes or dead relatives.

The On This Day tool picks up posts on the site from times past — a picture from exactly a year ago, for instance, or an update that was posted five years ago. But it does so indiscriminately, showing everything from a certain day including if those memories are upsetting or sad.

The reminders appear without prompting at the top of the news feed, so there’s no way of knowing when logging in if the site is going to show something — whether good or bad.

But the site now offers the option to choose a date or a person that is associated with bad memories, and then have them filtered out. Users can head to the special page for On This Day, select “Settings” and search for a person or a date range that they don’t want to hear about.

The feature can be turned off entirely on the same page — by choosing notifications and turning them off.

“Your memories are yours, so you should control which ones you see in On This Day,” the page reads. “Memories include things like your posts and others' posts you're tagged in, major life events and when you became friends with someone on Facebook. Use these filters to help make sure we show you memories from On This Day in a way that's meaningful for you.”

When choosing a person, Facebook tells users that it will “filter posts those people are tagged in so they shouldn't show in On This Day”. It reminds users that they can completely unfriend or block someone if they’d rather not hear about them at all — since filtering them out in On This Day will only silence them in that section, not in the News Feed or anywhere else.

Facebook’s On This Day feature is just one of a range of online services intended to help people feel nostalgic. Others include Timehop, which pulls in information from various social networks and dredges it back up at relevant times, and Google Photos can compile pictures from important days and bring them back up years later.

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