With 200,000 user deaths every year, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has decided to go a step further in managing the accounts of deceased persons.
This is one of the consequences of all digital: today, we leave traces of us everywhere, especially on social networks. And when we die, all that is still present, we continue to live on the Internet. This is particularly true on Facebook, which today has between three and four million dead accounts. Pages turned into burials and must continue to maintain.
The first step in 2015 was to “memorialize” the accounts of the deceased, in other words to protect them. This is a process that allows, after a report to Facebook in the event of the death of a loved one, to turn the account into a “commemoration account”. Specifically, the account is kept as it is and it allows to maintain a semblance of connection with the deceased. You can look at his status, comment on his pictures, write a note on his wall.
This commemoration account is managed by one or more persons, officially designated during its lifetime by the user and who act as legatees. The account is managed with a minimum of respect and any external connection to the account is blocked. Designated administrators can also decide, if they do not want to manage the deceased’s page, to ask Facebook to delete the account.
A page “Tributes” very framed
Except that it’s not enough. The problem with the commemoration is that the account remains active, which can quickly become creepy. For example, if you comment on a photo of a missing loved one, she may get back on the wire of your mutual friends. Some have even received friend requests from deceased relatives. Moments at best unsettling and at worst shocking that Facebook does not want to multiply. At the rate of 200,000 user deaths each year, there is a real problem for Mark Zuckerberg’s social network.
Facebook has decided to go a little further in the management of the accounts of deceased persons. He is deploying a section called “Tributes”. This is a kind of guestbook that will gather all messages posted on the account after the death and, especially, separate from those posted by the person during his lifetime. This new section will also be managed by the users who have inherited the account, with a right to look at everything: people authorized to write messages and the content of posts.