A devastated mom, via an open letter to tech companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Experian has criticized their flawed algorithms for displaying incessant baby related adverts, even though she gave birth to a stillborn child.
The open letter, via a tweet, expressed the sorrow of the heartbroken Gillian Brockell (a Washington Post journalist) and further threw light on her ‘always-online’ presence on social media and how the tech companies tracked her pregnancy.
The letter read, “I know you knew I was pregnant. It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags #30weekspregnant, #babybump.”
— Gillian Brockell (@gbrockell) December 11, 2018
The letter suggests that despite her posts announcing the engrieved incident and other related searches to tackle the depression, Facebook continued displaying the maternity and baby ads which induced more pain.
Through her open letter, Brockell questions the smartness of tech companies’ algorithms, stating, “Did you not see the three days of silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me? And then the announcement with keywords like ‘heartbroken’ and ‘problem’ and ‘stillborn’ and the two-hundred teardrop emoticons from my friends? Is that not something you could track?”
Furthermore, when Gillian requested to stop such advertisements, the request was misunderstood on the part of the tech companies assuming she had given birth to a healthy child. The companies started flashing ads for best nursing bras and baby strollers which further aggravated the condition of the mournful mom.
Additionally, in response to the sorrowful letter, Facebook’s advertising chief, Rob Goldman responded with an apology and suggested that the algorithms need improvement and Facebook is working on it.
Users all over the social media poured in sympathies and condolences.