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Facebook begins addressing the question: What happens to your profile when you die?

US users can choose a ‘legacy contact’ to manage their account when they pass away, but no word as to when it will arrive here.

legacy-contact_timeline How a Facebook profile page will look when someone passes away. Source: Facebook

SOCIAL NETWORKS AREN’T the best when it comes to dealing with accounts after someone’s death, but it looks like Facebook is taking a step towards remedying that.

US users will now be able to nominate family members or friends to take control of their account if they pass away.

Those wondering if this feature will arrive over here will have to wait as a Facebook spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that the feature is currently US only. However, the company said in its announcement that it would “look forward to expanding to more countries” over time.

The feature will appear in the Security section of settings and users will be able to choose at least one person to have control of their account when they’re gone.

Once they have access to it, they can write a post that will be displayed at the top of the memorial page, respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook and update the profile photo and cover photo.

Alternatively, a user can choose to have their profile deleted completely once they pass away.

Facebook legacy contact Source: Facebook

How the subject of users passing away is dealt with differs from service to service. For example, Google allows you to decide what to do with your collection of emails and data you’ve accumulated, while others will remove specific media under certain circumstances.

In the case of Facebook, the only way you can access an account is to either turn their page into a memorial page or remove it entirely. To do either, you need proof that you’re related to them as well as the deceased person’s birth certificate or death certificate.

Once a profile page is changed to a memorial page, there’s no way to access it or change it.

Read: What happens to your social media profiles when you pass away? >

Read: Death in the digital age: How does social media affect children’s grief? >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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