February 12th, 2015, 15:18 PM
Facebook introduces Legacy Contacts to manage your account when you die
Facebook is giving users more control over their social networking afterlives with a “legacy contact” setting.
With this setting enabled, a designated heir can change the deceased user’s profile picture, pin a memorial letter to the top of the profile, and respond to friend requests. The legacy contact can also download an archive of photos and posts.
However, Facebook is making clear that this is not the same as handing over your password. Legacy contacts won’t be able to edit old posts, access private messages or delete the entire account. Facebook told the Wall Street Journal that it ruled out further access “for this first version,” and noted that adding more responsibilities could just hinder the grieving process.
In the past, Facebook would freeze the account when it learned of the user’s death, while also adding the word “Remembering” next to the person’s name and removing any ads from the profile page. This option for “Memorialized Accounts” is still the default. Users who want to add a legacy contact can do so through Settings > Security > Legacy Contact. Friends and loved ones can also still set up a group memorial page for the deceased.
Legacy contacts are only available to U.S. users for now, with support in other countries to follow.