Facebook is for friends?

Nordstrom / Eng
43dhnu

Nordstrom Eng

PRE
Google, Cisco
43dhnumore
Dec 18, 2017 17 Comments

https://twitter.com/Hellchick/status/942863353403150336

tl;dr, "my friend died but Facebook hid the post from me so I had no idea."

Facebook employees, how does the company react internally when it fails to meet its mission? Do people feel bad? Does it inspire teams to do better? Does anyone even hear about incidents like these? Does anyone care?

This isnt a new problem, fwiw. People have been reporting this kind of algorithmic information theft for a long time. Is anyone actively working on this?

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TOP 17 Comments
  • Facebook KurisuM
    There's a close friends feature. There's a "See First" feature. There's a feature that allows you to create lists of friends and with one click, see all posts related to them. It seems the author didn't use any of these features.

    But that's okay. You're still supposed to see posts from friends you've interacted a lot with near the top of the feed. That's the only signal FB has on whether you're close to someone or not, apart from you specifically saying so.

    The author also says:
    "Now, I'm a meticulous FB feed peruser. I always set it to Most Recent and browse until I see the stuff I saw last time. I keep up."

    Could that be what caused them to miss the post in the first place? If you're always setting your feed to Most Recent you make it harder for Facebook to gather signal on what's most important to you. Plus, although they say they "always browse until the stuff they saw the last time," we all know the chances that they do that 100% of the time are pretty low. Maybe they missed the post that way?

    I don't know why/how they missed it. It is definitely sad and I wish it had turned out differently.
    Dec 19, 2017 6
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      How do you expect it to identify which posts are "high priority"?
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      43dhnu

      Nordstrom Eng

      PRE
      Google, Cisco
      43dhnumore
      OP
      You're Facebook. You know everything about us. You do sentiment analysis all the time. You have suicide detection algos already. I'm pretty sure you guys can figure it out.
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      That's very kind, but we're just people writing code. Sentiment analysis isn't perfect, and with 2 billion users, even the tiniest miscalculation can affect thousands of people.

      What you're asking for isn't bypassing the algorithm. It IS the algorithm. Identifying which stories you want to see is the whole point.
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      43dhnu

      Nordstrom Eng

      PRE
      Google, Cisco
      43dhnumore
      OP
      At the risk of sounding rude, this is life and death. And when it isn't, it has a deep impact on your customers lives. You have to do better.
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      If you know something we don't about how to improve feed ranking, please come help us make it happen! News feed is hiring in Seattle, Menlo Park, and NYC, and we reward people for impact.

      Maybe you're right, there's something obvious we're missing. In that case, you'll get a huge bonus for being the one to see it, and you'll touch thousands of people's lives in a meaningful, positive way.
      Dec 19, 2017
  • Oracle
    Aristotal

    Oracle

    PRE
    Amazon
    Aristotalmore
    Wow, thanks for sharing. the stories are scathing. Hospitalizations, being shot in Vegas, PTSD/ suicidal and help seeking. Facebook should have a close friends override for feed.
    Dec 18, 2017 4
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      Sounds like they didn't use the feature.
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      43dhnu

      Nordstrom Eng

      PRE
      Google, Cisco
      43dhnumore
      OP
      That needs to be default behavior, not something that a user has to configure. Anything else is antisocial.
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Facebook 5MoreDays
      You want a push notification every time any one of your friends posts anything? Give it a try, add everyone to that group and see how long you can stand it.
      Dec 19, 2017
    • Nordstrom / Eng
      43dhnu

      Nordstrom Eng

      PRE
      Google, Cisco
      43dhnumore
      OP
      Posts anything critical. Thats the key. My friend is stranded on the side of the freeway? Push notification right now, heck yes.
      Dec 19, 2017
  • Facebook 5MoreDays
    Do people feel bad about incidents like these? Yes.

    Does it inspire them to do better? Yes.

    Is anyone working on this? Yes. Lots of people work on news feed ranking. They're hiring in Seattle, Menlo Park, and NYC in case you want to help.

    It's not a new problem but it's a subtle, difficult problem.
    Dec 19, 2017 0
  • Cisco / Eng Mylady
    The worst part is FB pushes you the stuff you've already read again and again. So you keep refreshing the feed and its all the same, but apparently there is a whole bunch of staff they just don't show you no matter how eager you are to read.
    Dec 18, 2017 2
    • Snapchat / Eng
      DicNhlqst

      Snapchat Eng

      PRE
      PepsiCo
      BIO
      I'm Dic.
      DicNhlqstmore
      You can modify your feed settings on the desktop website but most people aren't aware of that.
      Dec 18, 2017
    • Cisco / Eng Mylady
      I already modified to show close friends posts first, but it still doesn't show all of tbeir posts. Is there anything else to modify?
      Dec 18, 2017
  • Nordstrom / Eng
    43dhnu

    Nordstrom Eng

    PRE
    Google, Cisco
    43dhnumore
    OP
    If the first response is to blame the user, you've already failed. You have to do the right action regardless of how the user behaves. Systems need to fail gracefully, right?
    Dec 19, 2017 0