Facebook gives you options on what to do with a profile when a loved one dies.
The social giant Facebook has existed long enough to realize that it is part of a human’s life events. We announce the most important milestones on our timelines by sharing with our Facebook friends the joy of getting married, having babies, or moving abroad. But what will happen with all that data when we pass away? Discussing your digital legacy isn't pleasant, but it's important is our reality. Don't leave it up to your family member, friends, or even worse: Facebook itself. In this article I will guide you through all the options you have, so you can make a conscious decision about your data, using the tools that Facebook offers to its users.
In short you have two options: To delete your account or agree to memorialize your person within the social network. In case you decide on the second option, it is recommended to set up a Legacy Contact: A person who will take care of your account, if something happens to you.
Deleting an account is the easier and more radical option. All your data - pictures, posts, comments, connections, messages, apps you have ever installed - simply everything, will be permanently removed.
Here are the steps you have to take first, to set this option in your profile:
This is however only an initial step to remove your account. If something happens to you, Facebook still needs to be notified. Your immediate family member needs to contact Facebook to inform about the lose. There is a Special Request for Deceased Person's Account where all the information, including a death certificate needs to be sent. Only after that will Facebook permanently remove the profile.
A Legacy Contact is a trusted person, a friend or a family member, that will make sure your profile is memorialized and that will take care of it afterwards. According to Facebook, the Legacy Contact will be able to:
Select the person first and talk about it in advance. You can always change your selection and chose another person, but it is always better to discuss this responsibility in person ahead. It is also important to educate your Legacy Contact what to do.
Here is how to add a legacy contact:
What to do, if you are appointed to be a Legacy Contact?
Respecting your deceased friend or family member is a responsibility. The first thing you will have to do is request memorialization of the profile. Once it is set up as a memorial, the profile will receive the “Remembering” label just above the name, next to the deceased person’s profile picture. Memorialized profiles don't appear in public spaces such as in suggestions for People You May Know, ads, or birthday reminders. As a Legacy Contact you can manage a profile in a limited way. To do it you have to go to the profile, in the bottom right of the cover photo click Manage and than you can:
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