Facebook added a new feature to its website called ‘Legacy Contact’, a feature that lets people choose a legacy contact—a family member or friend who can manage their account when they pass away.
Facebook said “Facebook is a place to share and connect with friends and family. For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honor those we’ve lost. When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships and experiences.”
“By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.”
If a user wishes, they can choose to appoint a friend or family member to take control of some aspects of the account after their death.
These features were among the most requested by users who gave feedback on its memorial page policies.
When a Facebook user passes away, Facebook will memorialize the account and the legacy contact will be able to:
- Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message)
- Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
Other settings will remain the same. The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who died or see their private messages.
Facebook added “People can let us know if they’d prefer to have their Facebook account permanently deleted after death.
Until now, when someone passed away, we offered a basic memorialized account which was viewable, but could not be managed by anyone. By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.”
Check our post “How to add legacy contact on facebook” to see how to choose a legacy contact.
Facebook has been looking at ways to help families remember loved ones following a series of high-profile cases in which people wanted to access dead relative’s pages.
In one a father wanted to create a video using Facebook’s Look Back feature, which brings together popular moments on a person’s profile.
But because he could not access his son’s profile he was unable to make one.
Facebook said it would create one on behalf of his dead son and promised that they would look again at how to help families in similar circumstances.
In 2009, Facebook introduced a memorialising process which meant that a user who had died would no longer appear alongside advertising, or in contextual messages – and friends would not be reminded of a person’s birthday.