February 12, 2015 – New media brings new questions; What happens to my Facebook account when I die? Up till now you could only elect to have your account permanently deleted when you pass away. A new option introduced today, lets you appoint a Legacy Contact who will be able to manage some functions of your account.
A legacy contact CAN:
- Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized timeline
- Respond to new friend requests
- update the profile picture and cover photo
- (option) download and archive of the photos, posts and profile information
A legacy contact CANNOT:
- log in as the person who passed away
- see the deceased person’s private messages
Facebook’s announcement does not make it clear if the Legacy contact can request permanent deletion of an account.
Learn how to change your account settings to follow your wishes should you die.
While it may seem that Facebook and other big internet companies know too much about our lives, they really don’t automatically know when you die. Someone must notify Facebook of the death. Providing the username, date of death, and linking to evidence such as an obituary, begins that process.
For those not ready to live forever online, there is the option to have your account permanently deleted when you pass away.