This is the story of Gillian Brockell, video editor at Washington Post. She recounts in this shocking article that she was pregnant and shared the news on social networks. On Facebook, she had clicked on ads for pregnant women's clothes and used proper hashtags on Instagram. As a result, it has appeared, logically, advertisements for future moms. Unfortunately, Gillian Brockell lost her baby, stillborn. When she went back on social media to change her mind, she took full pictures of dozens of commercials for strollers, breastfeeding bras, or DVDs on how best to get the kids to sleep. babies.
If the algorithms seemed to have “understood” that she was pregnant, on the other hand, they did not “understand” that she had not had her baby. The young woman says that she had given signals. She had typed in the search engines for names of diseases and words like “baby does not move”. She had also received messages of compassion from her friends, with hundreds of tears emoticons. How is it then, she wonders, that this information was not detected and not interpreted?
It is heartbreaking but we could also find, on the other hand, that it is almost reassuring. This proves that Google or Facebook, ultimately, do not know everything about us and especially do not understand anything. These tools that send targeted advertising are designed on the largest number of models and have not been programmed for situations that are out of the ordinary. Above all, advertising is made to sell and it is totally unsuitable for misfortune. This type of situation has already occurred several times, for example with deceased persons whose loved ones continued to receive completely inappropriate messages.
Gillian Brockell “implores” technology companies to ensure that this kind of problem does not happen again. Facebook responded by explaining that there was however a parameter, certainly imperfect, to disable this kind of advertising. Unfortunately, in pain, the young woman has never found this setting.