SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook is changing the visibility of accounts after people die, making it possible for Facebook pages to be preserved not only as digital legacies, but as public memorials as well.
The move comes amid growing public concern over what happens to a person’s digital presence after he or she dies.
The giant social network said Friday that when people “memorialize” the profiles of family members and friends who have died, Facebook will no longer restrict the visibility of those profiles to friends only. Instead it will keep the visibility the way the person had it before he or she died.
“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,” Chris Price and Alex DiScalfani from the Facebook community operations team wrote in a blog post.
Price and DiScalfani said more changes were in the works.
“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,” they wrote.
Facebook also said it would offer a way for anyone who has lost a loved one to see that person’s “Look Back” video.
The decision was made after a Missouri man, John Berlin, took to YouTube with a desperate plea to see his dead son’s video.
“Since then, many others have asked us to share the Look Back videos of their loved ones, too, and we're now glad to be able to fulfill those requests,” Price and DiScalfani said.