Losing a loved one is not a comfortable subject for most people. However, Facebook recognizes that for millions of users, the Facebook platform represents “community”. News of life events, from engagements to upcoming new babies, to illnesses and the passing of a loved one are a few of the many occurrences people often share on and learn first about via Facebook.
In the case of lost loved ones, over 30 million people per month view a memorialized profile. Memorialized Facebook accounts are maintained and cared for by a designated legacy contact.
Facebook introduced the concept of legacy contacts” in 2015. A Facebook user can designate a legacy contact. A designated contact is usually a family member or close friend. As the selected person, the contact has access to care for the Facebook account after the user’s death.
Last month, Facebook expanded the role of the legacy contact. Now, the designated person on an account can change tagging settings, remove tags, and edit who can see posts or who can make a post. Most importantly, Facebook also has introduced a new Tributes Section. This section allows the legacy contact to create a separate tab. On this tab, friends and family can share posts without this content appearing in the original timeline of their loved one. The tab helps keep the deceased user’s timeline intact.
Artificial Intelligence and Facebook Memorialized Accounts
Facebook also uses artificial intelligence to help prevent an account that has not yet been memorialized from showing up in certain automated features. As an example, AI seeks to circumvent the automated sending of a birthday reminder or event update to a deceased user’s contacts. Although AI doesn’t provide an infallible safety net for avoiding awkward or potentially painful communication, Facebook continues to improve this functionality.