Facebooking from the Grave


Facebook is our home away from home, a place where we escape our class lectures and focus on more important things, such as cyber-stalking our ex-boyfriends and seeing if we’re doing better than them. Facebook has over 1.23 billion monthly active users and it makes you wonder, when a user dies what happens to his or her Facebook account?

Well, it used to be when Facebook found out that someone had died, they would freeze the account making it impossible for friends and relatives to see or use it again. Today, Facebook has changed its ways and allows users to designate another “legacy” user for when you die, because you know when you’re dead someone still needs to update your status.

Facebook announced today a legacy contact that will allow someone else to update statuses, post pictures and accept friend requests on your profile. The legacy contact, however, cannot delete anything off the Facebook page and also cannot access private messages, so don’t worry — some things you do get to take to the grave.

The new legacy feature on Facebook. Photo by: Tami Benedict/ Xpress Magazine
Here is a look at Facebook’s new legacy feature, via a screenshot taken by Tami Benedict.

To create a legacy contact, all you need to do is go to Settings > Security > Legacy Contact. You can choose only one legacy contact and this contact cannot pass the duty onto someone else, so make sure you choose the right person. Once you name a legacy contact, Facebook will send him or her an email explaining the role, but maybe you want to talk to the person before that email is actually sent.

Now some may wonder how Facebook knows we are actually dead. It’s easy actually. All one needs to do is fill out a form on Facebook letting them know who died and when and then adding a link to an obituary or some other proof of death. This lets the admins at Facebook review the obit and grant access to the legacy contact.

Hooray for our Facebook pages outliving us! Nothing is more important than that status update: #imdeadbutmyhomiegotsme