Facebook and Twitter apologized to a woman for showing her ads about motherhood — after she learned her baby would be stillborn.
In a scathing open letter addressed to “Tech Companies,” including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Experian, Gillian Brockell blasted the giants for showing her ads that reminded her of her painful loss.
“I know you knew I was pregnant. It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags #30 weeks pregnant, #babybump. And stupid me!, I even clicked once or twice on the maternity-wear ads Facebook served up,” wrote Brockell, who is an opinion video editor at The Washington Post.
“But didn’t you also see me googling ‘is this braxton hicks’ and ‘baby not moving’?” she continued, in the letter published Tuesday.
“Did you not see the three days of silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me? And then the announcement with keywords like ‘heartbroken’ and ‘problem’ and ‘stillborn’… Is that not something you could track?”
Brockell tried to opt out of ads for the best nursing bras, tricks to get the baby to sleep for the night and highly-rated strollers — but was prompted to answer “why?” she didn’t want to see them.
Her answer had to be the “cruel-but-true, ‘it’s not relevant to me,’” she wrote.
“Please, Tech Companies, I implore you: If you’re smart enough to realize that I’m pregnant, that I’ve given birth, then surely you’re smart enough to realize that my baby died, and can advertise to me accordingly, or maybe just maybe, not at all,” Brockell concluded.
Facebook executive Rob Goldman tweeted an apology to Brockell, saying he was sorry for her loss and “painful experience with our products.”
In a statement to CNBC, Twitter also apologized saying they “cannot imagine the pain of those who have experienced this type of loss.”
Both companies said they were working on improving their products.
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