Facebook announced today that they would be launching a new feature that will allow users to block their well-meaning aunts from viewing their profiles. “Block Aunts” will now appear as a checkbox option in the Settings tab that will make it impossible for an aunt from anywhere in the world to find you on Facebook, add you, or interact with you in any way.
“Here at Facebook, we’re always looking to give the user the most control over their experience as possible,” Said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We added the trending tab because people like news. We allow people to search for old posts because they are nostalgic. Now we let people block aunts because aunts ruin Facebook.”
User surveys and focus groups determined that people were dissatisfied with aunts making asinine comments on their nieces and nephews’ photos, politics, and status updates.
“I love Dana, but I just don’t get her humor,” says veteran aunt Sandi Ramirez. “It’s weird and a little crass. Do you think it’s a drugs thing?”
Research showed that aunts were 35% more likely to reveal deeply personal information for everyone to see and sign the comment “Aunt Janie,” as if it were a private message. Other reasons include aunts tendencies to “like” old pictures, thrusting albums from before 2009 back into everyone’s feeds, as well as posting articles about how to fend off rapists onto the walls of their nieces without any caption to provide context.
“I just worry about her in that city,” says five-time aunt Sherri Taussig, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “She should know about the sprays they make, for the eyes.”
The function comes on the heels of a major breakthrough at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters where lead programmer Peter Chin completed an algorithm that determines who on Facebook is an aunt, and then marks their profiles with a small avatar of Tom Selleck. The algorithm looks for women who are listed as someone’s aunt in their Facebook “Family and Relationships” section, but also digs deeper, tracking people who post regularly about Animal Planet, off-Broadway shows, and Jared Leto’s hair and whether or not it’s “beautiful, even if he’s a man.”
When asked how the world’s aunts were responding to this news, Zuckerberg said, “They’re too busy reposting cat memes from their local radio station to even notice.”
“My aunt doesn’t even know,” said 17-year-old first-round beta tester Zach Richards. “She asks me if she saw that video where the kitten skateboards into a sleeping panda. I think she just types my name and assumes I see it. She doesn’t understand how tagging works.”
As for what’s on the horizon, Zuckerberg says there is a new team at Facebook dedicated to automatically deleting the accounts of anyone who sends invites for Candy Crush Saga.