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Facebook Now Lets You Choose Who Has Control Over Your Account When You Die

Facebook will now let you appoint a "legacy contact" to remain in charge of your account after you've passed away.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

In terms of things to leave in your will, the individual who received your Facebook account would probably be a little unimpressed, though that’s a feature that the social networking giant is allegedly set to implement in its service.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will amend its policy in order to allow an individual to choose who will manage their account following their death. Currently, Facebook freezes the accounts of those who have passed away, with it acting as a memorial of sorts. It also allows Facebook to navigate the uncomfortable privacy issues such an issue prevents, with users unable to log into the accounts of deceased former Facebook users and, in the worst case scenario, pose as them online.

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However, Facebook is reportedly set to introduce “legacy contacts,” which will allow users to choose one of their friends to have access to their profile upon their passing. In order to do so, users must head to Settings, then Security, then choose Legacy Contact on the bottom of the page. They will then be instructed to choose a Facebook friend who will have control over their account after they have died. 

The legacy contact’s access to their friend’s page will be limited, with them being unable to view private messages, edit/delete posts the user had previously made and remove them from tagged photos. However, they will be able to make new posts with the profile, change profile images and accept new friend requests. Any posts that are made onto the deceased former user’s page from their friends won’t be able to be removed by the legacy contact, either, with them also being unable to delete or deactivate the account.

Honestly, I don’t see the problem with leaving Facebook’s policy in regards to deceased users as it is now, with pages being kept on the site and used as nothing more than an outlet for people to write “in memory” messages on them. With that being said, this could potentially be a nice way for bereaved loved ones of the deceased to collate messages written in honor of the deceased, even if it does seem more than a little creepy.