The introduction of Facebook’s new, automatically-generated “us” URLs for couples has bloggers buzzing, with many turning their thumbs straight down at the company over privacy concerns, lack of notice, and a generalized dislike of digital displays of affection.
Facebook has been offering “friendship pages,” which pull together the interactions between any two friends on the network, since 2010.
But thanks to a recent upgrade, the service now automatically curates moments shared between two people listed in a relationship and places them on a joint page at Facebook.com/us.
- These “couples pages,” as they’re commonly being called, display all correspondence, events attended, and photos tagged together for the world to enjoy (or get sick over.)
The only way to opt out of this service is to remove the relationship status from your personal profile completely, according to CNN, who spoke to Facebook’s Jessie Baker by email.
”You cannot deactivate the pages, but you can control what you share on Facebook using the privacy settings for each post," wrote Baker.
"The friendship page respects the privacy setting of each post. This means the person viewing the friendship page may see each post elsewhere on Facebook, like on either friend's timeline or in news feed. You can curate your friendship page by hiding stories you do not want to appear."
- Still, many were upset over the idea.
Calling Facebook's couples URLs “cringeworthy”, The Telegraph's women’s editor Emma Barnett wrote that Mark Zuckerberg is “way off the mark with proactively creating couples pages which automatically curate people's relationships.”
“You have infantilized my relationship for me with the creation of facebook.com/us. Only I should get to do that,” she continued. “And you may have just forced me, a newlywed, to finally take the plunge and break up with my husband on Facebook."
Jennifer Write at The Gloss pointed out the likelihood of an even messier digital separation should a breakup occur.
"When you break up, where does the Facebook couple's page go? That is going to be like a knife right in your heart-brain."
Barnett and Write were not alone. Many expressed annoyance and made sarcastic quips about the pages on Twitter
- Some were simply curious, and even excited by the idea: