Facebook will no longer change your privacy settings after you die, but will make you a Look Back video

The advent of social media profiles has created an interesting problem, from a philosophical perspective: what happens to your profile after you die? Originally they would just go dormant unless somebody had your password, but then Facebook updated their policy to place the profiles of our dearly departed into a "memorial" mode where visibility was restricted to only friends. But starting today, Facebook is changing that:

Up to now, when a person's account was memorialized, we restricted its visibility to friends-only. This meant that people could no longer see the account or any of its content unless they were Facebook friends with the person who passed away. Starting today, we will maintain the visibility of a person's content as-is. This will allow people to see memorialized profiles in a manner consistent with the deceased person's expectations of privacy. We are respecting the choices a person made in life while giving their extended community of family and friends ongoing visibility to the same content they could always see.

Additionally, Facebook is offering users the option to create a posthumous "Look Back" video (by 'users' we mean the live ones — they haven't figured out Facebook Afterlife… yet). Reacting to a plea from John Berlin of Missouri, the father of Jesse, who passed away in 2012, Facebook did the work to make it possible to create Look Back videos for memorialized accounts, saying that "John's request touched the hearts of everyone who heard it, including ours."

As the biggest and most interconnected social network out there, Facebook also sees the most death among its ranks. In fact, in October of last year, XKCD tackled the question of when Facebook's dead will outnumber living members, and the answer was sometime in the next 50 to 120 years. It's still an interesting philosophical debate: what happens to your digital presence after you're no longer present?

Source: Facebook


Reader comments

Facebook will no longer change your privacy settings after you die, but will make you a Look Back video


I would prefer to remember my loved ones with my own memories not creepy Facebook thanks...

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I agree. When they're gone, you use everything you have to remember them fondly. I like Facebook's ideas with this.

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For once I won't make a joke on here. Personally, I wouldn't want this done for me and I find it semi-creepy, but I know my mother would have loved this when my little brother passed away last year. So overall it's good.


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It does? Have you done it before?

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Three years ago, a friend of mine died before I thought of requesting to be on his friends list. He left his profile fairly open and all could view it.

People often like to share comments about those who are gone.

It's nice to see Facebook recognized the connection does not end (including the marketing connection).

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Private Joker: The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive.

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Understand that this is a tactical play with your justified sentiments and emotions. All for advertisement revenue and information collection. The only relevant question here can thus be when there will be a "lookback" video about "Facebook". The answer is sooner rather than later.

I have a friend whose wife died on Valentine's day this year. She left some videos for him in her Facebook account marked private and asked him to wait until after she died to watch them. She gave him her username and password so he could log in to view them. After she died Facebook memorialized her page and blocked him from viewing the videos. They wouldn't respond to his calls or emails. Anyway it is all over the news here in Rochester, NY. Here is the youtube link to the channel 8 interview.


The problem faced here is the fact that facebook does not know when someone has died unless a family member proves they are related and sends FB a link to an obituary. I know this because my father had been deceased for almost a year and his account was still as he left it. I had to contact FB and notify them of his passing and give a link to his obituary before they memorialized his page. So in your friends case it wasn't FB fault, it was whoever told them that his wife passed.

So Facebook will continue to make money out of my death :-( don't think so! Gonna give my password in my Will to have my account deleted... If I haven't deleted my account by then that is...

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"Bob sent you a memorial request. Would you like to send Bob's family a virtual memorial? Condolences now 50% off."

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Wow another reason why I'm glad I don't and have never had a facebook account. My creep meter just rose so high it broke through.

This is so weird and wrong

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