By LESLIE ANNE DOMINIQUE
Have you ever wondered what happens to an individual’s social media account after they pass away? Well, Facebook has generated a new system to handle the deaths of social media users.
On Tuesday, the social media giant announced that legacy contacts would be given majority of control over a validated deceased account on Facebook. There is also a new “Tributes” section on the network that will allow loved ones to honor the deceased person. Legacies will be permitted to manage this “Tributes” page as well. In continuance, Facebook has made changes to assure that profiles of dead people will not show up in unexpected places on the website.
This new system is in response to Facebook’s 2015 project to allow people to assign a legacy contact to manage their social media account in the event that they passed away. However, many legacies and loved ones made complaints about finding the deceased accounts in invite recommendations or even birthday reminders.
For the past few years Facebook has been struggling to devise a solution to the problem of deceased user accounts but now they believe they have found a solution. With the new system deceased accounts must be memorialized.
Essentially Facebook must confirm that the account at hand belongs to a dead person. Accounts can only be memorialized by friends and family of the said user. In continuation, only users 18 and up can assign legacy contacts, but parents with young children are now permitted to apply for legacy contacts to control their children’s account.
Memorized accounts can be controlled by legacies in the sense that profile photos and posts can be edited however, private messages cannot be read and no past posts may be deleted. Rather than old and new posts being merged together, there are separated sections between deceased and alive, serving as a digital memorial.
While Facebook has offered a number of solutions to this perplexing issue, there are still a number of questions being asked. Many are concerned at the fact that users are only permitted one legacy. The questions is: What happens if the user and the legacy die either in the same incident or in two different scenarios, who will manage the account? Facebook administrators have recognized this issue but have yet to find a solution.
As social media networks continue to rule the internet, the issue of deceased accounts and what happens to digital footprints is still a question at hand. Facebook promotes the idea of users using the network to share influential milestones, including the death of loved ones. According to Facebook, 30 million users view memorialized profiles per month. The social network is doing all this in an effort to continue life after death and let people’s legacies live on, connecting people dead or alive.
This story has been reported by a number of sites such as, NBC and WIRED. Both articles provided relevant information about the subject. This is a very relevant story as many social media users are concerned of digital footprints after death.