On Thursday, Facebook announced a solution to the difficult challenge of what to do with Facebook accounts when the user has passed away. Users can now appoint a “legacy contact” who then controls their Facebook page once deceased. The designated contact can change the profile picture of the deceased, pin a memorial letter, and respond to friend requests. They cannot edit old post, access private messages or delete the account entirely.
Vanessa Callison-Burch, product manager for Facebook, says,
We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos… there was more we could do.”
Previously, relatives of a deceased person could request their loved one’s page be memorialized which Facebook would do by locking and freezing the account or, if requested, the account could be deactivated and taken down.
To activate the new Legacy Contact setting,
- Open Facebook settings, select Security and then Legacy Contact located at the bottom of the page.
- Select your Legacy Contact. You will be given the option to send that person a message.
- Give legacy access to archive of posts, photos and profile information shared on Facebook.
The feature is currently only available to U.S. users but the company plans to expand following national support for the feature.
Read more here- “Facebook Introduces Legacy Contacts to Manage Your Account When You Die,” (Jared Newman, PCWorld)