the eternal sunshine of the spotless timeline

Facebook wants to end the nightmare of seeing everything your ex is up to

No more sleepless nights deciding whether to block or de-friend.

shutterstock_291046370 Shutterstock / PathDoc Shutterstock / PathDoc / PathDoc

FACEBOOK IS TRYING out a feature that would make it easier to handle the messy social media aftermath of a break-up.

The new system, launched today in the US, will allow people who have split up with a spouse or partner to choose an option that spares them the emotional pain of constantly seeing their ex-lover’s posts and pictures in their news feed.

The company has begun testing the breakup protection on mobile devices in the US, and will later decide whether to offer it to all of its 1.5 billion account holders worldwide, including Ireland.

The option is designed for people who don’t want to risk offending a former husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend by taking the more extreme step of de-friending or blocking them.

According to Facebook’s announcement today, the new function will give the newly broken-hearted several options.

  • You can opt to “see less” of your ex’s name and photos on your news feed. Also, their name won’t pop up when you go to tag friends in a photo, or compose a message.

Sorry Taylor.

inphone_seeless Facebook Facebook

  • Conversely, you can also limit what your ex can see to posts you’ve specifically tagged them in, anything posted publicly, or anything involving you that appears on a mutual friend’s timeline.

It’s just not your day, Taylor.

inphone_limit Facebook Facebook

  • And as a third line of defence against bittersweet memories, you can selectively (or collectively) untag yourself from posts or photos featuring your erstwhile beloved.

[DELETE] Taylor.

changepastposts Facebook Facebook

In a blog post today, product manager Kelly Winters explained:

Facebook is a place for sharing life’s important moments, which for many people include their romantic relationships.
When a relationship ends, we’ve heard from people that they sometimes have questions about the options available to them on Facebook.

The new function, she added, was:

Part of our ongoing effort to develop resources for people who may be going through difficult moments in their lives.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

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