Some relationships end well. Others meet their demise in a hail of emotional bullets during a dawn slaughter.
Algorithms don't always understand this. They have only ever been in a relationships with coders and, well, such bonds are both stable and lifelong.
One should not be surprised, therefore, that Facebook's algorithms have caused many inadequate, fragile humans to gnash teeth, bash walls and smash wedding gifts. You see, the lovely Facebook Photo Memories feature tries to offer you pictorial stimulation of happy times with those you loved.
The trouble was that, for the longest time, it also offered you pictures of those you used to love--those who might just be loving someone else these days.
Facebook has now decided to put an end to this post-heartbreak torment. At least partially. According to Inside Facebook, the company has decided to go down on one knee and cease featuring photos of those with whom you have previously been in a relationship.
Inside Facebook quotes Sam Odio, who reportedly replied to a plea from one lady who just loathed seeing pictures of her ex: "Hi all--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."
As sometimes happens with Facebook, it's a step in the direction of sanity, but there is still some distance to go before it can wave the asylum doors farewell.
This new measure relies on the fact that you declared in your profile that you were in a relationship with your ex. Some people don't. Some people don't feel the need to tell interlopers that they're are deeply involved with a logger from Texas or a CEO from medical appliances industry.
If you happen to be one of those who chooses not to launder your whole life on Facebook or if you weren't, for example, sure where this was going to go (even though you were madly enamored), the reminders of your pain may go on.
Equally, you may also still see images of your new lover (Oh, come on, we didn't think you'd be down for long--you're gorgeous) with an old passion or two. Or three. Or seven.
That pesky, metal-hearted algorithm happens to become excited, in its oafish wisdom, about those with whom you interact on a regular basis. So up pop images that might make your heart sink like a suspected medieval witch.
If you give your life over to the machines, my friends, you will never be able to control what the machines choose to do with it.