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Facebook changes how it handles profiles of deceased users

facebookNIT – Facebook has decided to make an important change to how it preserves the “legacies” of its users.

Up to now, when a person’s account was memorialized, Facebook 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, Facebook announced that it 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,” Facebook said Friday.

Facebook also said that it is “offering a way for anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one to see that person’s ‘Look Back’ video.”

“In recognition of our ten-year anniversary, a group of our engineers created personal movies for people using some of the posts and photos they had shared over the years. For one man in Missouri, the Look Back video he was most desperate to watch was one that had not yet been made. John Berlin reached out to ask if it was possible for Facebook to create a video for his son, Jesse, who passed away in 2012. We had not initially made the videos for memorialized accounts, but John’s request touched the hearts of everyone who heard it, including ours,” Facebook stated.

Facebook said that changes like this are part of a larger, ongoing effort to “help people when they face difficult challenges like bereavement” on Facebook. “We will have more to share in the coming months as we continue to think through how best to help people decide how they want to be remembered and what they want to leave behind for loved ones.”

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