Facebook's latest move - to create automatic "couples" pages
for anyone listed as in a relationship - has crossed the
line, users say.
The joint digital profiles, which Facebook has also taken the
liberty of creating for friendships, read like a relationship
timeline - that users haven't authorised.
Each page includes a cover photo, joint profile pictures, the
relationship status, mutual friends, mutual likes and events
the couple has shared.
All users have to do to access their new relationship page is
sign in and go to www.facebook.com/us
While pressure has been on the social media giant to keep
innovating - especially since the site's stock plummeted
after floating - Zuckerberg was "off the mark" with this
particular move, said women's editor at The Telegraph,
Barnett spoke out about the changes in an opinion piece
titled "Facebook 'couples pages' make me want to retch."
"I will give credit where credit is due. Mr Zuckerberg is
brilliant and has past form of creating new behaviours
through the launches of new features ...
"However, he is way off the mark with proactively creating
couples pages which automatically curate people's
"Mr Zuckerberg: by all means keep giving people new tools -
as you did when you created Facebook. But when you start
doing things for us - the experience is anything but social
or remotely positive. You have infantilised my relationship
for me with the creation of www.facebook.com/us. Only I should
get to do that."
Barnett said she was considering "divorcing" her husband on
Facebook just to make the unsightly profile disappear.
And she is not alone.
Blogger Jennifer Wright wrote "I want to vomit."
She said she had no desire to have her relationship compiled
and recorded by Facebook executives.
"I guess it's because I believe you are still individual
identities, even when you're in a relationship."
But others thought the reaction to the changes was out of
Blogger Justin McLachlan wrote in response to Barnett's
column: "There's nothing creepy here, that I can see, just
more out of proportion reactions to something new, different
"It's no different, really, than typing your name into Google
and seeing your face and other personal details from social
networks mashed up in sidebar."
The number of "divorces" popping up on Facebook's newsfeed
will be a good indication of whether that's true.
- By Cassandra Mason of nzherald.co.nz