Facebook Photo Memories – does it only show you pictures of your ex?


Well, I’m exaggerating a little, but this is one of those Facebook features that shows an algorithm still can’t really figure out the complexity of human relationships.

To a human it’s quite obvious that you really don’t want to see photos of your ex’s smiling face popping up on your Facebook homepage two weeks after you’ve broken up, but to the Facebook software, well it’s not.

Clearly the Photo Memories pictures are ones that have been selected, like the News Feed, because you used to show an interest in them. Your friends can grasp things have changed, but the algorithms can’t, unfortunately.

Problems have come up before with Facebook’s little widgets – especially around the Reconnect With feature which has suggested people reconnect with dead friends, with exs or perhaps most worryingly, with their current partners.

This modern life eh.

related: Facebook suggests you reconnect with dead friends and your husband – new feature causes trouble

[illustration from XKCD, via @Super_James , thank you]

Anna Leach


  • There is evidently a bunch to realize about this. I feel you made various nice points in features also.

  • Hello –

    I’d like to let you know that we’re listening to your feedback. The photo memories product no longer shows tagged photos of your friends if you were previously in a relationship with them.


    -Sam Odio
    Photos product manager

  • It’s hard to come over hard time. When I broke up with my boyfriend, I even remove his account from my friends list. But now, everything is ok. We’re still good friends. And, you know, his photo appears more frequently than I expect (of course, it’s not easy for me to forget him).

  • Look Facebook, just because I like to look at pictures of girls who I find arousing while I’m masturbating doesn’t mean you need to show their pictures while I’m not masturbating. Opt-out please.

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