Facebook, the memorial site

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Death as a status update on Facebook?

Well, it’s not quite that creepy, but the social networking site announced this week that it will “memorialize” profiles of the dead if their family or friends request it.

The deceased’s account will be viewable only by Facebook friends who were confirmed when the user was alive. Contact information will be removed and visitors will be barred from logging in.


Such profiles also will no longer appear in the “suggestions panel” that tries to link friends of friends — an accidental development that led to the current policy.

But Facebook wants help figuring out who among its more than 300 million users should be memorialized. Deaths can be reported on the website’s “Deceased” form, which requires proof of death in the form of a ‘an obituary or news article.’

-- Valerie J. Nelson