What happens to your Facebook account when you’re gone?

  • 1st August 20161/08/16
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From every day happenings, to life-changing experiences, Facebook is the place where we share everything about our lives; births, marriages, relationships, work, places, pictures, opinions, the list goes on, but have you ever thought about what happens to your account when you’re gone?

If you haven’t, Facebook has. With more than 1.6 billion users worldwide, there’s a mammoth amount of memories built up over time, shared with family and friends near and far. Whether you use Facebook hourly, daily or monthly, your life will be documented from the day you signed up.

Memoralised Accounts

As a way of preserving those memories, around three years’ ago Facebook put in place an option to ‘Memorialise Accounts’, which is when friends and family can gather and share memories after a person has passed away. Everything that was ever posted stays the same and is visible to the audience it was shared with, although no one can log into a memorialised account.

The Legacy Contact

Last year, Facebook created a new ‘Legacy Contact’ option; this allows a family member or friend to manage their memorialised account when they pass away. The person chosen as a legacy contact is able to do things like post to your timeline, respond to friend requests and change your profile picture, but they can’t post as you or see your messages.

On creation of the Legacy Contact, Facebook said: “Until now, when someone passed away, we offered a basic memorialized [sic] account which was viewable, but could not be managed by anyone. By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized [sic] 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.”

You can add a Legacy Contact by going into ‘settings’, ‘security’ and then selecting legacy contact. Here you can select someone who you are friends with; there is also an option to permanently delete your account.

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