I Call My Wedding. The internet will never be forgotten
“I think it’s an even stronger statement than that,” Seyal said. “If we fix the problem you explain, the user doesn’t have to go back any further, but maybe we can fix the tremendous experience on the internet. And that’s enough in itself. “
Pinterest didn’t really fix it, though. The new tuning I saw in their offices seemed to be just expanded menu options, a review of the settings on Facebook. In early 2021, Pinterest was still suggesting me to have a “great and elegant 24 silk wedding dress”.
That day, when I left Pinterest and went back to my office, I realized that it was stupid for me to think that the internet would never stop. The Internet is fast, but not always smart. It’s personalized, but not personal. It attracts you with a timeline, and then fucks you up with your time concept. She doesn’t know or doesn’t care if you actually had an abortion, got married, moved out of the house, or bought slippers. He runs with the signs you took and gave him these shoes, and good luck catching up.
All in all it was an opportunity to go nuclear. Great deletion. I can delete all my old photos in Apple and Google apps, delete accounts, remove widgets, delete cookies, and clear my browser cache over and over again. If I could use the Instagram archiving tool, I could tell any app that I no longer wanted to see their crooked ads until I received advice, and calmly friends and follow them. I can turn off Facebook notifications on this day and tag my ex’s face.
I managed to do half the work. But that’s it: it’s work. It is designed that way. Mental and emotional energy requires an amount of gratitude, as do some relationships. Even if you find time or energy to navigate the settings and submenus and customer care forms, you won’t have control over the experience. In the Apple Photos section, you can go to Memories, view a collage that the app has assembled for you, delete a collage, tag a group of people or people, or say you want to see less of that kind of Memory. Can’t you do the only thing? Select the Memories function completely. Google’s options are a little more detailed: you can indicate that there are times when you don’t want to see photos in addition to hiding specific people. Which works, I guess, if the time frame you’re thinking about isn’t eight years old.
Technologists have told me that this experience should improve over time. That is the nature of machine learning. Apple, Google, Facebook, and Pinterest use artificial intelligence to find out which photos should appear in memories or which pins should appear in your feed.
There are algorithms that identify when people in a photo are smiling or someone in the group is blinking. Facebook has developed a framework called Memory Taxonomy that reports on the algorithms that emerge from memories on this day. Facebook memories with phrases like “Lost your face” are shared again, but the memories associated with the food, like an old photo of heels, are pretty bleak looking back. Facebook, Google and Apple have also trained their systems to detect photos of accidents and ambulances and prevent them from appearing in memories.
“The machine will never have 100 percent accuracy,” Yael Marzan of the Google Photos team told me. “So when it comes to sensitive issues, we’re trying to do something like that. We know hospital photos are sensitive, so when our machines detect that, we’ll try not to show it to you.” I couldn’t think of Marzan’s release in the context of this pandemic year, and someone might feel traumatized if a hospital photo appears on a phone screen a year from now.
But also, what if the hospital photo was a native, uncomplicated relief? Wouldn’t those photos also show up? Shouldn’t there be a way to identify when a blue hospital gown is a happy moment and a white wedding dress isn’t? Or is it impossible to separate or predict the two, in terms of technology and life?