Now you can live forever on social media. Facebook introduced a new legacy contact feature today where users can control who has access to their Facebook account after they die. Morbid, but needed with an increase in “ghosts” on Facebook as users pass away.
In the Facebook security settings you can select a specific friend or family member (who also has a Facebook account) who will control aspects of your page such as profile and header image. Users can also choose to have their account deleted.
Accounts could previously become memorialized where people can let Facebook know the person has passed away and request their page to become memorialized. Activity from their account will not appear in news feeds and the word remembering will appear before the person’s name. With the new feature, the legacy contact can now control the memorialized page and upload pictures, with permission in the “will”, but does not get access to messages or account settings. Facebook’s goal is to allow people to continue to write and posts pictures after a persons death, without the person continuously popping up because of the algorithm.
When my grandfather passed away I know I was freaked out every time his name popped up on my news feed. I unfriended him to try and solve the issue until Facebook suggested almost daily to add him as a friend. I think I ultimately ended up blocking him because it was too hard to keep seeing his name and picture come up.
I like the new feature, but it is creepy to think that we live in an age where it’s necessary not only to create a real, but virtual “will” as well. Facebook needed a way to filter out void accounts and I think this is a good medium where people have the option to delete their account or keep it open as a communication center for love ones seeking comfort after their death.