Over 8,000 Facebook users die each day, yet Facebook’s terms and conditions haven’t kept up with the every growing issues surrounding death of social media users. Today, Facebook announced that it will now allow users to designate a Legacy Contact who can manage their account when they pass away. Proof of death through an obituary or death certificate will need to be provided and once the user’s death has been authenticated the designated legacy contact will be able to:
- Post an announcement, memorial information or special message on the top of the person’s timeline.
- Respond to recent friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
- Modify the deceased profile picture and cover photo.
It is also possible for Facebook users to give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of photos, posts and profile information that had previously been shared on Facebook. Considering how much content we all share on Facebook on a daily basis, the Facebook Legacy Contact feature could be quite helpful if you’re contemplating digital legacy plans for yourself and your family.
To get started —> Open your settings. Choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page.
Facebook has also redesigned memorialized profiles (a user’s profile that’s no longer “active”) by adding “Remembering” above the deceased’s name and making it possible for their legacy contact to pin a post to the top of memorialized profile Timeline. This provides the community with a signal, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. View the official press release from Facebook here.
If you’ve gone down the Facebook Legacy Contact feature route, we would love to hear your thoughts. How did you find the process? Was it helpful to start a conversation?
If you find this interesting, you might find our digital afterlife blog posts helpful.