Facebook is implementing “legacy contacts”; people who are designated to take over a particular account in the event the owner passes away. The social media company had originally balked at the idea of allowing accounts to be taken over and simply froze the profile. A situation that often had unintended results.
The new legacy contacts will have the power to administrate the deceased’s Facebook profile, although they will be limited in what they can do. This is mainly confined to responding to friend requests, changing the profile picture, and writing a status to display at the top of the page. They will not be able to do things like edit posts or delete pictures belonging to the deceased.
These limitations were put in place to avoid adding any extra emotional load to the grieving parties. However, the team did not rule out changing this feature in the future. To be fair, they had not intended to allow people to act as caretakers for Facebook accounts in the first place.
Each person is allowed to nominate only one legacy contact, although this person can be changed at any time. Facebook will also allow a legacy contact to be nominated through a written will, in the case that someone prefers it done that way.
Legacy contact details can be changed in the security settings on a Facebook account, and all it takes is a couple of clicks. Admittedly, there is some surrealism to preparing our social media accounts for that inevitable moment when we shuffle off the mortal coil.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]