Facebook Changes Policies For Accounts Of The Deceased
On its 10th anniversary, Facebook rolled out "Look-Back" videos that collected all your top moments in a touching video collage. It was a nostalgic feature and a gesture from Facebook to thank their fans. Nearly, 100 million people shared their Facebook Look-Back videos in the first week that Facebook launched them.
It was then that John Berlin from Missouri messaged the Facebook team if it was possible for them to create a Look Back video for his son Jesse, who passed away in 2012.
Chris and Alex, working for Facebook’s Community Operations department write in their blog post that everyone in the team was touched by John’s message. After considering how people would feel, whether the loved ones’ privacies will be honoured and would it help the grieving families, they finally decided to roll out some changes for the accounts of the deceased.
Privacy Settings of Accounts of the Deceased:
As of February 21, 2014, Facebook has decided that it will let the "memorialized" accounts be visible to everyone who could see them before. Previously, when a Facebook user passed away, their Facebook profile was restricted to their friends. Now, Facebook says that if a user has set his or her profile to Public, the profile will be visible to the Public even after the person's death.
This is to respect the wishes of the people and keep their Facebook profiles as they had wanted in their lifetimes.
A Look-Back Video of the Loved Ones You Have Lost:
The second change that Facebook is bringing to the accounts of people who have passed away, is the ability to request a "Look-Back" video. Facebook has created a submission form through which you can request a deceased person's timeline to be memorialized. You will need to submit the person’s Facebook username, link to the Timeline and evidence (obituary or news article) of the person’s death. Facebook will then create a video based on the person's posts, uploaded photos and top moments.
It may be a small step, but considering that Facebook is innovating its features, incorporating every emotional event of our lives into their online experience, it goes to show how important fans are for Facebook.
The 1.3 billion community currently on Facebook is hooked only because Mark and his team keep adding new features. Now, even when someone has passed away, you can remember them through memories they made online.
In a way, it is also a reminder that whatever we post on Facebook doesn’t die out. Whether they are photos of a party we uploaded without thinking or a post we updated in frustration, every action on Facebook is recorded forever. It is not only a mark of who we are but will also become a way for our friends to remember us when we are gone.
In their blog post, Chris and Alex conclude with:
"Changes like this are part of a larger, ongoing effort to help people when they face difficult challenges like bereavement on Facebook. We will have more to share in the coming months as we continue to think through how best to help people decide how they want to be remembered and what they want to leave behind for loved ones."