Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.46 10 Apr 2019


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Social media site Facebook is making changes to how pages belonging to dead users work.

There will be a new tributes section for memorialised accounts, more controls for people who manage these accounts and improved intelligence to keep the profile of a deceased person from appearing in painful ways - such as on a birthday.

In a statement, Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg explained: "We've heard from people that memorialising a profile can feel like a big step that not everyone is immediately ready to take.

"That's why it's so important that those closest to the deceased person can decide when to take that step.

"Now we are only allowing friends and family members to request to have an account memorialised.

She added: "If an account hasn't yet been memorialized, we use AI [Artificial Intelligence] to help keep it from showing up in places that might cause distress, like recommending that person be invited to events or sending a birthday reminder to their friends."

Over 30 million people view memorialised profiles every month to post stories and remember those who have passed away.

The new tributes section expands on this - creating a separate tab on memorialised profiles where friends and family can share posts.

But the original timeline will remain as it was.

Facebook said this "lets people see the types of posts that are most helpful to them as they grieve and remember their loved ones."

In 2015, the site introduced 'legacy contacts' - a feature that lets people choose someone to care for their Facebook account when they pass away.

"Since then, we've heard that legacy contacts wish they could do more to manage the memorialised accounts they look after", Facebook said.

Legacy contacts can now moderate the posts shared to the new tributes section by changing tagging settings, removing tags and editing who can post and see posts.

"This helps them manage content that might be hard for friends and family to see if they're not ready."

This also adds to existing features - such as the ability to update a person's profile picture and cover photo, and to pin a post to the top of their profile.

Parents who have lost children under the age of 18 can also request to become their legacy contact.


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