For everyone that has ever wanted the opportunity to influence others from beyond the grave, your chance may have come. Of course, you can’t actually make any real Facebook posts from beyond the grave on account of the fact that you will be, you know, dead. But Facebook have come up with a solution for those that have requested a feature which allows a loved one (or at least a trusted one) to make posts on your behalf, after you have passed away.
That trusted, chosen friend will be able to change your profile photo if they wish and also respond to new friend requests. Some people might find the idea strange that someone should want to be friends with a dead person but hey, who are we to judge.
The idea has legitimate practical applications when you think about it. If you pass away tomorrow and you have picked someone to control certain aspects of your Facebook account after you have passed, they could potentially use your profile to post funeral details. They could also respond to what will no doubt be hundreds or possibly even thousands of tributes and expressions of sadness. It validates other people’s love and care for you to get a response, even if it might be a little bit spooky at first.
Facebook are calling it the “legacy contact”. It is a bit different to using one’s own Facebook profile; there are restrictions of course. The legacy contact can’t actually log in to your account. So they can’t do things you would be able to do (if you were alive) such as remove friends, edit posts, delete posts, or even read you private messages. However, if you choose, you can let them download a copy of everything you have shared on Facebook.
In the past, people who have died have had their profiles “memorialized” which just meant that it was kind of frozen only people could post memories, etc. Understandably, this left a lot of family members of the deceased a little stressed at not being able to protect a loved one’s legacy, aside from requesting that the page be removed completely.
This new initiative aims to change all of that. If you would like to set up your account to give some control of your account to a legacy contact should the unfortunate arise, follow the steps below;
– Click the down-arrow on the upper right hand corner of your screen. Click settings. Then on the left column, click Security, and then click Legacy Contact.
– Enter a friend’s name who you wish to nominate as your legacy contact.
– An automatically-generated message may then be sent to that friend. The message will read; “Hi ___, Facebook now lets people choose a legacy contact to manage their account if something happens to them: https://www.facebook.com/help/1568013990080948. Since you know me well and I trust you, I chose you. Please let me know if you want to talk about this”.
– There is also the option to give that nominated person control over certain aspects of your account. Those things include almost everything; your personal messages excluded.
Of course, if you don’t want anyone doing anything to your Facebook profile when you pass away, you always have the option of requesting that your account be deleted when you die.