Facebook from beyond the grave

IF YOU’VE ever wondered who’s going to manage your Facebook account after you die, you need worry no more, as Facebook have rolled out their ‘Legacy’ feature in the UK.

Yes, it’s as weird as you think it would be. What the feature essentially means is that you can appoint someone, be it a friend or a family member, who can take over the management of your account when you shuffle off this mortal coil.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have already told my boyfriend that I will give him all the passwords to my online accounts, and he is to delete them all as soon as I die. It’s mainly because I can’t bear the thought of anyone writing pithy posts about me to MY OWN FACEBOOK WALL, which I won’t see BECAUSE I’M DEAD. If you want to say something nice about me, like how you enjoy how awkward I am or how much I hate everything, then do it now, whilst I can appreciate it.

Seemingly, this Facebook feature has been rolled out for those who want to memorialise loved ones who have passed away. The appointed legacy contact will be able to administer the page after the user dies, allowing them to write one last post, update their cover and profile photos, and even approving new friend requests (if you’re adding someone as a friend on FB after they’ve died, it probably wasn’t that good a friendship tbh).

If you really like the person who you’ve chosen to represent you online when you’re six feet under, you can also give your contact permission to download an archive of all your Facebook activity and information, making sure those photos of you downing bottles of WKD when you were a University fresher don’t die with you.

However, your legacy buddy won’t actually be able to log into your account, or see any of your private messages, and all your privacy settings will remain as they were beforehand.

If, like me, you don’t want to have any kind of Facebook presence after you die, you can tell Facebook to delete your account permanently once you’ve croaked it. I’m not sure how they will know that you’re no longer of this life, but the option’s there if you want it.

The feature was rolled out in the US earlier in the year, and was mocked by American news presenters on NBC, who said that it risks confusing people who may think that their loved one is still alive if their Facebook friend request is accepted. Sadly, I think there are people out there for who this would be an issue. ‘We thought Grandma was dead, but she’s just accepted my Facebook friend request! It’s a miracle!’

As you might be able to tell, I’m ever so slightly cynical about the feature, but I’m sure someone will enjoy it, so that’s the main thing.

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Iona St Joseph

Written by Iona St Joseph

PR exec who likes finding funnies and cool stuff online. Print journalism graduate.

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