Have you ever wondered what would happen to your social media accounts after you pass away? It may have not occurred to you as social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram, are still fairly new. Facebook, however, follows a very specific protocol when it comes to dealing with a deceased person’s profile.
Previously, the Facebook profiles of a deceased person could only be “memorialized,” erased, or left unaltered after family members reported the death of the user. Memorializing the user’s profile meant the account would be frozen and they would no longer appear on public searches. The only way you would be able to view their profile is if you are the user’s Facebook friend. Memorializing the profile also adds a “remembering” in front of the users name.
Michelle Hernandez, a senior at Thomas A. Edison High School said, “If I see a deceased family member’s profile pop up on my Facebook feed, then I would literally feel shattered. I wouldn’t want to be reminded of them in that way.”
Now, Facebook has introduced a new feature that allows you to choose a legacy contact. You can go to Security and click on “Legacy Contact,” where you’ll be able to select one of your Facebook friends. You’ll can also send them a pre-written message. The contact will be notified only when your death has been reported to Facebook.
Facebook said in a statement, “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.”
Other social media outlets have been trying to implement similar policies. It’s astonishing to see how your life can continue digitally even after you pass away.