NEW YORK — When someone passes away, their Facebook page can live on, forever.
The page tends to become a place where friends and family of the deceased leave messages destined to go unanswered.
Some people have said it can be upsetting to see the page, while others have said pages were taken over by hackers or spammers.
But that could change though with Facebook’s latest update.
Facebook is now letting users choose a legacy contact.
That person will be allowed to write a one time post for your profile, respond to new friend requests and update your profile and cover photos.
The person will not be allowed to log into your account, delete or change past posts, read sent messages or delete friends.
The word ‘Remembering’ will appear next to your name when the time comes.
If you’d rather your Facebook page die with you, you can select that option too and your page will be permanently deleted upon your death when Facebook is notified. The instructions do not say how Facebook will confirm your death.
So how do you pick your legacy contact?
Here are instructions straight from Facebook.
Open your settings. Choose Security and then Legacy Contact at the bottom of the page.
“We’ve also redesigned memorialized profiles to pay tribute to the deceased by adding “Remembering” above their name and making it possible for their legacy contact to pin a post to the top of their Timeline.”
So what exactly can your legacy contact do on your Facebook page once you’re gone?
- Write a post to display at the top of the memorialized Timeline (for example, to announce a memorial service or share a special message)
- Respond to new friend requests from family members and friends who were not yet connected on Facebook
- Update the profile picture and cover photo
- Download an archive of the photos, posts and profile information shared on Facebook.
“Other settings will remain the same as before the account was memorialized. The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who passed away or see that person’s private messages,” Facebook developers announced. ” Until now, when someone passed away, we offered a basic memorialized account which was viewable, but could not be managed by anyone. By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.”