What about the Facebook account of a deceased person? Managing this digital legacy can be a sensitive issue. The social network allows users to indicate if they want their profile to be deleted after they die or that someone takes over posthumous management. It also provides that the nearby circle of a deceased person may request the conversion of the commemorative account, so that no one can log in, and that family members request the erasure. Now, the company announces the creation of a specific section to honor those who no longer live, more control actions for posthumous administrators and the use of artificial intelligence to avoid uncomfortable situations such as receiving a notification for the birthday of a deceased person.
The section where each user can choose what will happen to their profile after dying is that of General Account Settings. On another page, relatives or friends can report the death of a person and request that their account become commemorative. "If you are not a relative or a close friend of the person who passed away, we recommend that you contact a family member before applying," he advises. However, so far has not clarified this newspaper if you have a way to check the death of someone in cases where no one points.
Facebook explains that, if you choose to keep your own digital heritage visible, the person indicated as legacy contact will be informed with an email and that it is also possible to notify her with a direct message. He also adds that he will alert this contact with a notification if he becomes aware that the account holder has died, after modifying it in commemoration. In addition, it ensures that if a person does not indicate a posthumous administrator, "nobody will actively take care of" their profile.
If you want to ask for the final erasure, you have to choose the option Request the deletion of the account. "Once someone warns us that you have died, all your information, photos and publications will be permanently deleted from Facebook and nobody will be able to see your profile again", alerts the social network in the message that opens if this button is given . Also the direct relatives can request that the account of a deceased person be removed. To do this, they must provide a document that proves the legal authority and that this person has died (such as death certificate, power of attorney, will, declaration of assets, obituary or obituaries card).
The option to indicate a legacy contact was implemented in 2015. At that time, the company determined that it could set a post of tribute in the account of the deceased, respond to friend requests and change profile and cover photos. This Tuesday, the head of operations of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg announced in a post some new features that the company has foreseen to improve the posthumous management of the accounts. Among them, it indicates the implementation of a separate section of the biography of the deceased owner where messages can be published in his memory and the extension of the actions available for the legacy contact.
The posthumous administrator of a profile you can moderate the new section and establish who can post and view messages, who can see the posts where the deceased is tagged, remove these tags and, eventually, also cancel posts on the page. On the other hand, you do not have the possibility to log in with the deceased's account, see or send private messages and send new friend requests or publish public posts in your name. Facebook adds that recently it has introduced the possibility that the parents of a deceased minor request to become their legacy contact (users under 18 can not request it on their own).
The experience of the users
Sandberg explains that the company has asked users and experts to improve the management of the grief experience in the social network and that each month 30 million people view commemorative profiles. In other post published in your personal Facebook account, the board assures that he lives this experience in his own skin since her husband died. The representative of the social network says that reading the messages of homage left by people "gives her consolation", although she realizes that "sometimes being on-line It can make the loss even harder. "
As a result of the suggestions and experiences of the virtual community, the company has identified among its objectives that of "minimizing painful experiences," says Sandberg. To achieve this, he adds, it has been decided to use more artificial intelligence. "We have developed a way to hide profiles of deceased people that have not yet become commemorative accounts, because we know that this is a personal decision of loved ones and can take time," he explains in one of his posts. "We will use artificial intelligence to avoid unexpected and painful experiences such as sending a birthday notification to friends," he adds. It remains to understand how Facebook knows that someone has died without anyone notifying.