While scientists and religious fanatics remain divided on the opinion of what happens after you die, it seems like whatever the end result be, you will still be socially active via your trustworthy Facebook account. Hence proved, there's no social peace even after you die.
Facebook recently announced that it will offer users more control over what happens to their Facebook pages after they breathe their last. Users should now see a new option pop up in their security settings that will allow them to choose whether they want to pass their information and account management rights over to someone else when it's time.
Although death, or time of death, isn't something people are overtly looking forward to discuss or face, it still remains a big query as to what happens to your data when you die. In fact, it's as big a concern as what happens to your physical property. After all, we do end up storing a lot of confidential information online every day.
Now, after a year of working on the project, Facebook is finally implementing the changes that are heavily based on the kind of feedback the company has received from users. As of Thursday, you should see three basic options:
- Do nothing: In this case the current rules apply. Your account can be memorialised by anyone after your death, provided the company gets adequate proof of your death.
- Ask Facebook to delete your account after you die.
- Assign someone to manage your account (your legacy contact): Once Facebook has been notified about your death, your timeline will also change to let people know that you are no more. Facebook does this by adding the word "Remembering" ahead of your name.
All this happens after you die. And in case the legacy contact option seems interesting to you, know that the legacy contact must be a Facebook user. The legacy contact can perform certain actions such as accept requests from those who want to befriend an account, to posting messages on a user's timeline.
Apart from that, the legacy contact will also be able to pin posts to the top of a profile page and change the late person's profile picture or cover photo. However, to keep away from upsetting a deceased Facebook user's friends, these types of notifications will be dormant. This means shouldn't see them pop up on your own timeline, alongside normal profile updates.
Facebook will continue working on ways to make this painful process a little smoother over time. Callison-Burch, a Facebook product manager, says her team thinks of this as the first version of this tool.
As of now, the legacy contact option is set to come to the United States first. Users who designate a legacy contact will be reminded each year about their decision, in case they want to make further changes. The feature is expected to land in other countries going forward.