Facebook Accounts Memorialized Not Closed

Facebook, the online social site began memorializing the accounts of deceased members in 2009 when relatives of deceased members wanted to close the accounts of their deceased family members. Facebook has a policy that prohibits anyone but members from closing accounts. Obviously this is a problem after you’re deceased. With a membership in the millions, and with thousands of accounts being opened daily, Facebook is faced with this situation on a regular basis. This sets up a scenario that keeps memorialized Facebook member pages online with limited access.

Virtual Life and Death

Ironically, members live out their Facebook lives in a virtual world. Members interact through status, picture, and video posts, likes, challenges, and chats to name a few ways. They also send and accept friend request to and from other Facebook members. People all over the world literally spend hours on FB, as it’s known to the faithful, creating online lives and relationships. But you can’t live forever in a virtual world either. Life goes on, with or with out us in reality and in the virtual world. Now grieving family members and friends are left to grieve us in reality and in the virtual world of cyber space. This requires someone to tend to our online lives when the time comes.

Posting to the Dead

Although Facebook won’t allow grieving family members to close the accounts of dead relatives, Facebook closes the account and memorializes it after removing any personal information. This keeps anyone from logging into the account. This action was taken in response to people being urged to contact deceased members through Facebook. Family and confirmed friends are the only ones that will be able to search for and find these memorialized pages to view them. They will also be able to leave “messages” on the profile page.

Leave a Will to Close Your Account

The simple fix is for members to give or leave their user names, passwords’, and instructions to close the account with someone they trust. This gives grieving family members or significant others, the option to close the account and prevent FB from memorializing the account.