Do you often stay awake at night, worrying about what is going to happen to your Facebook account after your inevitable dumb and disturbing death? Will your family and friends be able to access all your embarrassing messages to people? Will someone be able to detag you in all of the embarrassing pictures that people put up of you after your death in order to ‘remember’ you? Will that girl from school you had a crush on accept your friend request now that you’re dead?
If that sounds like you then you no longer need to worry – Facebook is now providing an option known as a ‘legacy contact’ which is a person that will manage your page after your death. This special person will be able to change your cover and profile photograph to something ‘appropriate’, write a memorial post for you – or just share the sad news with your friends – and reject any moronic friend requests that come in after your death.
Thankfully they won’t be able to log in to Facebook as you though and go through all your private messages or go around pretending to be you and liking posts. Facebook had the following to say about the new initiative:
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.
Alternatively, people can let us know if they’d prefer to have their Facebook account permanently deleted after death.
To be honest it sounds like a great idea to me, because there have been numerous incidents of people not being happy about people’s Facebook accounts still existing after their death and not being able to be deleted or treated appropriately. It is a bit creepy though you have to admit, although I suppose it’s no different to having a will or an executor really. It’s just modern.
Here’s how to picky our legacy contact, although it’s only available in the US at the moment:
Open your settings. Choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page.
After choosing your legacy contact, you’ll have the option to send a message to that person.
You may give your legacy contact permission to download an archive of the posts, photos and profile info you’ve shared on Facebook.
We’ve also redesigned memorialized profiles to pay tribute to the deceased by adding “Remembering” above their name and making it possible for their legacy contact to pin a post to the top of their Timeline.