Facebook rolls out features for users when they die

For years, it’s been a painful and difficult process to manage a loved one’s Facebook account after death.

As writer Julie Buntin wrote in a piece for the Atlantic last summer, losing a high school friend was difficult enough, but having her friend’s account in stasis after her death was like reliving her death over and over — through old messages and other profile features refreshed with site updates.

“It’s been five years since my best friend from high school passed away, but her death happens over and over online,” Buntin wrote. “Facebook has made her death a sort of high-concept horror movie. How many more times will I grieve her?”

Much of the problem with stories like Buntin’s is that, without a password, the profiles of the deceased were more or less doomed to stay up, almost as a painful reminder of a person’s life. Persistant familiy members could petition to have it taken down or request that the profile be frozen and locked as a memorial.

Now, with Facebook’s new legacy contact setting, control is back in the user’s hands. Legacy allows users to designate a Facebook executor, someone to take control of the account in the event of a user’s death. Users can also choose to have their account deleted after death.

While Facebook is tactfully choosing not to promote the new feature, users can access and designate a legacy contact under settings>security>legacy contact.

Slate’s Will Oremus applauded Facebook’s decision.

“It would be nice to see more tech companies follow its lead in thoughtfully addressing what happens to users’ data when they die,” Oremus wrote.

But not everyone is happy about Facebook’s new move. The Christian Science Monitor reported that many estate specialists advise caution.

“While I really don’t think this will become a major issue, there’s no accounting for what people may do,” attorney Anthony Handal told the Monitor. “However, if you’re not careful and you have one heir as the executor of your estate but put someone else in charge of your digital media it can cause conflict that nobody needs during the grieving process.”

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like