A grieving mum has penned a heartbreaking letter to social media companies who bombarded her with baby ads after having a stillbirth.
US woman Gillian Brockwell shared an open letter to companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, revealing she was targeted by triggering advertisements after losing her unborn child.
The complicated algorithms used on social media used her search history and posts to learn personal information about her, which was her pregnancy.
‘I know you knew I was pregnant,’ she begins the letter.
‘It’s my fault, I just couldn’t resist those Instagram hashtags — #30weekspregnant, #babybump. And, stupid me! I even clicked once or twice on the maternity-wear ads Facebook served up.’
Ms Brockwell also confessed to searching online for ‘holiday dress maternity plaid’ and ‘babysafe crib plan’ – all information used to create specific ads for her.
The woman then described the Google searches she did after realizing something was gravely wrong.
‘Didn’t you see me Googling, “Is this Braxton Hicks?” and “baby not moving”?,’ she went on to ask.
‘Did you not see the three days of silence, uncommon for a high-frequency user like me?’
Ms Brockwell then tragically lost her baby, returning home to a social media world which thought she had brought home a healthy, new bub.
‘Let me tell you what social media is like when you finally come home from the hospital with the emptiest arms in the world, after you’ve spent days sobbing in bed,’ she added.
‘It’s exactly, crushingly, the same as it was when your baby was still alive. Pea in the Pod. Motherhood Maternity. Latched Mama.
[Then] do you know what your algorithm decides? It decides you have given birth, assumes a happy result, and deluges you with ads for the best nursing bras, tricks to get the baby to sleep through the night and the best stroller to grow with your baby.’
She finishes the letter by begging tech companies to be more human with its advertising targeting.
‘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.’
The moving letter was shared over 20,000 times, with many people offering their condolences to Ms Brockwell.
For anyone who wants to turn off parenting ads on Facebook, it’s under: Settings>Ad Preferences>Hide ad topics>Parenting.