One year ago today, I stared across a vast sea of “I Voted” stickers. Everywhere my head turned on the street, and everywhere my cursor roamed online, American flags were stuck to people’s lapels, fun souvenirs from doing a civic duty.
The Hillary Clinton supporters in my News Feed had a particular excited glow to them, a sense of pride that they had helped to accomplish what was then thought by many to be a done deal—the election of the first woman president. But for many Democrats, the day that had begun with smiling selfies ended in tears. One year later, Clinton voters might prefer to forget how they felt while standing in the voting booth. But Facebook remembers.
For the past few years, Facebook has welcomed its users to the site by showing them a memory: something that happened on the same date, but one or two or 10 years ago. Almost immediately, as The Verge reported, this “On This Day” feature began surfacing things people didn’t want to be reminded of—posts announcing the death of a loved one, or apartment fires. For some Clinton supporters, last Election Day falls under the same category.
I'm good, thanks! pic.twitter.com/gnmNLc2Bv0— Alexandra Svokos (@asvokos) November 8, 2017
Hello Facebook hi yes of course I would love to see what I posted one year ago todOH JESUS GOD NO NOT THIS— Peter Stein (@PeterTheCrate) November 8, 2017
“I think people are still hurting,” says Danielle Butterfield, who was the deputy director of digital advertising for Clinton’s campaign, and is now the ad director at the progressive advocacy organization Priorities USA. “A lot of my friends are honestly probably choosing to log off for the day and avoid some of those happy memories.”