Facebook ‘legacy contact’ can edit your account when you die

Facebook is introducing a “legacy contract” to accounts which will allow a trusted friend or family member to take control of a user’s profile after they die.

Facebook will be with you till death, and beyond
Facebook will be with you till death, and beyond

The social network said that once they had been notified of a user’s death, it would “memorialise” the profile and allow the designated trustee to post a message to appear at the top of the timeline as well as respond to new friend requests and change the profile and cover photos.

“Facebook is a place to share and connect with friends and family”, Facebook said in a post on its official blog.

“For many of us, it’s also a place to remember and honour those we’ve lost.

“When a person passes away, their account can become a memorial of their life, friendships and experiences.

“If someone chooses, they may give their legacy contact permission to download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information they shared on Facebook.

“Other settings will remain the same as before the account was memorialised.

“The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who passed away or see that person’s private messages.”

Until now, accounts were memorialised by Facebook and could still be viewed, but could not be accessed or edited by anyone else.

This system is still in place in the UK, but Facebook said it would look to roll out this new feature outside of the US in the near future.

“Our team at Facebook is grateful and humbled to be working on these improvements,” the blog post concluded.

“We hope this work will help people experience loss with a greater sense of possibility, comfort and support.”

Facebook has placed tight restrictions on the legacy contract system, with users only able to name one person as a trustee of their account.

A “digital heir” in a person’s will would be acknowledged as the legacy contract holder.

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