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 you never authorised.
Each page includes a cover photo, joint profile pictures, the relationship status, mutual friends, mutual likes and events the couple has shared.
All you have to do to access your 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 is “off the mark” with this particular move, says women’s editor at The Telegraph, Emma Barnett.
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 relationships.
“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 says she is considering “divorcing” her husband on Facebook just to make the unsightly profile disappear.
And she is not alone.
Blogger Jennifer Wright writes “I want to vomit.”
She says she has 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 think reaction to the changes is out of proportion.
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 and innovative.
“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.