Main | Thursday, February 12, 2015

Facebook Launches New Policy On Account Status Following Death Of User

Via the Washington Post:
Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their Facebook pages after they die. Starting Thursday, users should see a new option pop up in their security settings that will let them choose whether they want to pass their information and account management over to someone else when the time comes. As of Thursday, there will be three basic options: 1) You can do nothing, in which case the current rules apply and your account can be memorialized by anyone after your death, providing that the company gets adequate proof of your death. 2) You can ask Facebook to delete your account after you die. 3) You can designate someone -- called your legacy contact -- to manage your account. Once Facebook is notified of your death, your timeline will also change to let people know you've died. Facebook does this by adding the word "Remembering" ahead of your name -- i.e. "Remembering John Doe."

The legacy contact must be a Facebook user and will be able to do specific things, such as accept requests from those who want to befriend an account to do things such as post messages on a user's timeline. Contacts will also be able to pin posts to the top of a profile page and change the late person's profile picture or cover photo. To keep from unduly upsetting a deceased Facebook users' friends, these types of notifications will be suppressed -- meaning you shouldn't see them pop up on your own timeline, alongside normal profile updates. Facebook users can also specify whether they'd like the legacy contact to access a downloadable archive of their Facebook information after death. Sure, the information you post on Facebook probably isn't crucial -- your photos, your cheesy inspirational quotes, your bad puns -- but those little things are also often what people miss about you when you're gone.
But who do you choose to be your legacy contact?

RELATED: Two years ago Google introduced a policy in which users can choose to have all of their accounts (YouTube, Gmail, Google+, etc) automatically deleted after a user-specified period of inactivity.

Labels: , ,

comments powered by Disqus