Facebook Changes Help Families Grieve

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In a change that begins today, Facebook will allow a designated family member or friend take over the Facebook profile of someone who has passed away. In the addition to the Facebook profile, one must designate someone to be their “legacy contact.”

If a person passes away, the designated legacy contact has the option to add one final post to the deceased’s profile, change the profile and cover photo, respond to friend requests, and archive the profile and photos of the person who passed.

Before this, Facebook would verify the death and then memorialize the person’s profile–which means people could view it, but no one could manage it. Responding to families of those who’d passed, Facebook realized that there was more they could do to help families.

Facebook product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch says,  “We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos.” The new option allows families to do just that.

Here’s how to designate a legacy contact:

  1. On the right side of your Facebook page, click on the downward-facing arrow to show the drop-down menu. Click on “Settings.”
  2. Choose “Security,” then “Legacy Contact” at the bottom of the page.
  3. Choose your Legacy Contact from your friends list. Choose the options you want your Legacy Contact to have.
  4. The system will offer an option to send a message to that person.

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