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

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



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ahmadcrofton says:

How will they know that you're dead????

XcZachx20 says:

My first question when reading this

Darren Walsh says:

Your profile will no longer detect a pulse lol ! Not sure either!!

StirItUp says:

The NSA will report it.

TuanLVT says:

they will know when the FB wall getting alot of RIP words and the account havent been used for awhile... or some other ppl or family tells FB that the person died

wpguy says:

So if you want to ruin someone's account, just tell FB they are dead?

JoRdaNeK says:

When our dead faces touch the cortana powered livesight™ screen of the Lenovo touchpad idea yoga 96 with forked dual boot sailfish/tizen in the distant year of 2018 whilst we press refresh for the last time

They'll know you're dead when you stop complaining when they change the privacy settings...

JPDVM2014 says:

I laughed at this more than I feel I should have. I wish I could upvote it.

WetmoreMJ says:

They will know when: the greater entity posts to your wall; "calling you home"
: that's all that's it.
: times up.
: R.I.P.

MO2PKU says:

you will be considered dead once you post #YOLO on your own wall

Well... I guess I'll haunt the internet after all...

Jas00555 says:

Derek, its awesome seeing you post on here more often.

KoreyTM says:

+1 to this! I was always a fan of Derek's writing back in the WebOS days, so I completely agree with this sentiment.

tyaan says:

+1 I wonder if Derek still uses his Pre3 or a TouchPad...

Zeroplanetz says:

How about ya just delete my account? Pfff gone. Don't need me to be cluttering up space when I'm not there to use it.

Martinio32 says:

Crazy world... They got access for something more, maybe Facebook should be sponsor any coffin and all ceremonial.

StirItUp says:

I don't want to die!!!!!!!

In our modern world, when you die, you now are alive more than ever. Think about how your great-great-great-great grandkids will be able to see your pics from that crazy spring break down in panama city where you hooked up with all kinds of folks, got tattoos, did all kind of drugs and posted it all on facebook for all eternity. Your family tree will be so proud.

StirItUp says:

Preserve the family pride. By the way, how did you know that?

Good friends with the zuckster

You,my sir have won the internet for today, :D .Cant stop laughing xD

Its a interesting thing to think about, ya know? Never has there been a time where so much of our lives will be archived. Whereas you and I don't have much info on our great great grandparents, our great great grandkids will/should have tons of media to pick from to see how life was in the 2010's.

micallan_17 says:

After reading this I started talking how many people have used the Facebook Memorialization Request form to play a prank on someone

Crazy question, but can ppl still tag a deceased person in their photos?

xFalk says:

I've already given instructions to delete my Facebook account when I die.  I don't feel the need to live virtually.

NIST says:

You virtually live here.

NIST says:

The dead profiles should be ported to My Space.

atvman29 says:

That should liven the place up...

Man I'll live forever I have a MySpace, Facebook, twitter, Google+ 30+ Different email provider's and a Fuckbook(for lolz)

dasfoto says:

So, if you're dead and no longer have a corporeal form, how do you make an "I'm dead" status? Now as a zombie you're also dead so you could set the status that way, but then your status would be "Zombie". And if you're a zombie will they still memorialize you?

RyanAMG says:

I'll get back to you if Rick and Co find a cure.

wpguy says:

Facebook already has status for Relationship (handful), Gender (I'm not sure there are enough options). Why omit Life status? At minimum there should be Alive, Undead, Dead, Near-dead, Resuscitated, Reanimated, Suspended animation, and Stuck in a transporter buffer.

How does it work? Who creates the video? Friends? Or is the video automatically created by Facebook? If so, how does Facebook know you're dead? Can I assume the "video" is a simple slide show? So many questions.

helloyello says:

This is B.S.! The first thing I planned to do after I die was to change my FB privacy. This is the last straw! I refuse to die now! Take that, Facebook!!!

Tafsern says:

I will never die...cause I'm alive on Facebook.

Imagine all the ads popping up next to your memorialised page...

Data mine... this person's dead.. data mine... selecting appropriate ads..

Johnsons Funeral Homes - special offer on your next family member..

Isaacs and Sons Coffins...


Smiths Headstones... 

t3chnick says:

You should be able to select a person to take over the account, to approve any new tags or new friend requests (new family members for all the smart asses out there)

MrVol84 says:

Meanwhile.. The WP Facebook app still sucks!

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

wpguy says:

Many keeps saying this, yet none list any specific shortcomings.

Good to hear thay. My eldest bro passed in an accident last month and his profile stays. He always wanted a Lumia, but before he bought one he left us

RoscoNeko says:

That's sad :( Sorry for your loss

Its okay, I just would never want his photos to go from there. I miss him, I still remember him breaking Temple run records on my lumia 720. :(

dabberz3 says:

I don't see how this relates to this website's theme... That and there were a few misused words and needed "".

AE Sid says:

yay xkcd. love that site :D

wpguy says:

Love the WP app too

The account should be terminated unless you request this memorial video, set up like a will. What gives Zuckerman the right to keep our accounts if something happens to us. Would he give us his account and password if someone suddenly erased his life?

Racxie says:

The last question in the article is probably my biggest concern regarding my GamerTag.

I cant wait to download this. I've been complaining about twitter on wp8 for ages.