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At this time of year it’s natural to look back on the last twelve months and reflect on what went well, what went wrong, and everything in between. Unfortunately for Facebook, its attempt to aid this reflection will actually be one of those that went wrong.

Year in Review is the social network’s attempt to bring back the memories of your year, from highlights to hard times. The problem is that the feature’s algorithm failed to offer enough customization options, so that users could edit out elements of the year that they preferred to remain out of the public eye.

While some years inevitably bring grief as well as joy, Facebook’s uniformly positive slant to all users on its Year in Review feature made the feature feel all the more robotic. For an effort that was presumably intended to connect with users around the diverse emotions of everyday life that they showcase on Facebook, the final product feels oddly one-dimensional.

Reaction to Facebook Year in Review

As is the norm on Facebook, reaction was swift and varied.

While some felt offended, disheartened, or just plain spammed (see left), others pointed out that Year in Review isn’t mandatory, offering users the choice to both activate the algorithm and another Some even denied that Facebook should apologize for its approach to sum up our personal events of 2014, regardless of any depressing elements it has resurrected.

To give credit to the company, it’s general review of the year is a visually striking and minimalist effort that summarizes events well, ending with this vaguely poetic conclusion:

The moments we shared in 2014 affected us all.
They shocked, moved and entertained us.
They connected us.

Together, let’s make 2015 amazing.

While it’s easy to disagree with the sentiment, users will expect more than mere words from Facebook when it comes to balancing unique features with user privacy in the years to come.

But, then, that’s a challenge that the company has faced almost every year since its inception.