Google’s lack of social sensitivity: not everyone wants to be reminded of one’s father
A seemingly minor action by Google on Father’s Day caused a major backlash: They displayed a reminder to “call dad” in Gmail. Quoting “‘Reminder: Call Dad’ Is Another Notch In Google’s Belt Of Social Fail”:
Albeit micro, ‘Reminder: Call dad’ is just one more example of Google not entirely grasping social niceties. It should be obvious that putting up a status message that’s offensive to some users (especially users whose fathers have passed away, or were abusive, et al.), in a place that most people consider private, might not go over well.
It is very hard to guess that reminding someone of one’s dad might be offensive. But the easy thing to understand is that you have to respect people’s privacy. And this kind of reminder invades it. It is symbolic for Google’s lack of sensitivity in this area.