What happens to a person’s Facebook page when they die? This question has left the people behind the social media network thinking and they’ve come up with a solution.
The reality of life is that, eventually, it comes to an end. But while our legacy may live on through our work or our families, it may also live on through Facebook, too. The social media network has announced three new options for deceased Facebook user pages.
It sounds a little creepy and morbid, but the new policy allows users to decide who will be able to pin posts or delete their account after their passing: It’s called a legacy contact. Your legacy contact will be able to post a commemorative image, download all the contents of the account, save the page as a memorial or even delete it completely.
How to assign a "legacy contact" in Facebook http://t.co/nxRIILJj9t pic.twitter.com/lqJPa0wLXN
— CNET (@CNET) February 12, 2015
Before, friends and family members of the deceased would have to appeal to Facebook for the page to be memorialised or deleted after their death was reported. Now, it’s a whole lot more simple, if not unnerving. No longer will people have the misfortune of seeing a deceased person’s birthday notification pop up in their wall feed, a reminder that not even death can stop a person’s online tracks.
The legacy contact was created after families of a deceased person approached Facebook about how to download the deceased user’s Facebook contents as a keepsake, but also wanting to use the Facebook page to share funeral announcements.
“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,” Facebook said in a statement.
How to create a legacy contact:
- Click on Settings on your Facebook page.
- Choose the Security Option, then click on Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page.
- Elect who you’d like your legacy contact to be. There will also be an option to message that person to let them know you’ve selected them.
- Give your legacy contact permissions, like allowing them to download your posts and photos.
From creepy to the makings of a Hollywood film, here’s what users think of the new policy:
Thinking of a Facebook #LegacyContact is such a creepy thing. Just sitting in my room contemplating what friends will most likely outlive me
— Jessica Cook (@JessicaCook100) February 13, 2015
Makes me think about a friend I lost last year whose #Facebook account sits untouched. Online #afterlife is important http://t.co/30raO3817f
— Rebecca Radnaev (@beckybowring) February 12, 2015
Facebook now lets you post when you're dead http://t.co/uOlpLaHqX1 pic.twitter.com/h7bljRJYxg
— David Goldman (@DavidGoldmanCNN) February 12, 2015
How long before a tv show uses a plot where someone is killed so the legacy contact can take control over the deceased's Facebook account?
— Todd Hoff (@toddhoffious) February 13, 2015
What do you think? Will you be designating a legacy contact?
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