Facebook's 'Previous Status Updates' Bring Back Unwanted Memories

People share all kinds of news via Facebook status update: births, college acceptances, new jobs, and deaths. Facebook recently introduced a feature that rehashes “previous,” (originally called “memorable”) status updates in the right sidebar, with some of the text of and a link to certain status updates, which could be several years old. It’s incredibly confusing at first, but at least it generates pageviews for Facebook.

The feature has been causing Carroll a lot of anxiety lately because it keeps pulling up statuses from her and her contacts’ feeds from a period in her life that she would rather not remember, when many of her loved ones and pets died in a short span of time.

Here’s an example of one of the updates that keeps coming up:

[Carroll's fiance] wishes to thank my fiancee’s mom for being a wonderful woman and giving birth to… the same.
[Name redacted]: 10/16/52–11/11/10.

Sweet and moving? Yes. Something you want to see over and over six months later when you’re just logging in to play Farmville? Not so much.

Carroll writes:

This may not seem very bad to you but i am starting to get a case of P.T.S.D. I am fully aware that my mother is dead, as well as my pets who also died around the same time, and whose posts i also have to see VIA my fiance, all the time. This is ridiculous and needs to stop!

Not to mention the fact that deleted posts are still showing up. Once i delete something from Facebook i expect it to be gone, apparently they do not feel the same way!

Yes, we would have thought that deleting something would be enough to stop being confronted with it, but apparently not.

Some users have organized a group in opposition to the status update reruns. If you’re in a situation similar to Carroll’s, the Better Facebook browser add-on can at least get these old status updates out of your face if you can’t stay away from Facebook.