What happens to your Facebook profile when you die?

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This is a slightly dark topic for a post, but I was just browsing through the Facebook Help Centre and came across their policy on dead people’s Facebook profiles: now instead of letting them run, they “memorialise” them.

It has been around since October 2009, but I suppose it’s not widely publicised and hopefully in most people’s experience hasn’t been widely used.

If a friend dies leaving a profile behind, you can report that profile to Facebook who then “memorialise” it. Memorializing the account removes certain more sensitive information like status updates and restricts profile access to confirmed friends only.

Facebook say that “in order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone. We do honor requests from close family members to close the account completely.”

If an account is memorialised, it will no longer show up the suggestions box on the Facebook home page, eg. the situation will not arise where Facebook suggests you “reconnect” with people who have died – as has happened before.

Here’s the report as deceased form:

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In a discussion thread in one of the Facebook forums there are some interesting comments hilighting the problems with the old system.

So that’s where Facebook profiles go when you die… And interestingly I guess not even death will get you off the Facebook servers.

Anna Leach


  • In an era where we lead a significant part of our lives online, I think it’s prudent that we consider the “passing on” of our digital assets too.

  • Would that I could use my facebook profile in heaven so that I may stay in touch with them.

  • Yeah, I’ve experienced this feature unfortunately a friend of mine passed away almost a year ago. I think the only thing that was bad was that it took them a while to get around to memorialize the page and her status update was something really happy about a party she was having. It was a little hard to look at.
    They remove the status as a part of the memorializing. It was good that they have something like that. It helped.

  • “hopefully in most people’s experience hasn’t been widely used.”

    It will be increasingly, though. All social networks are going to need some kind of policy in place. What’s interesting with the FB example is that ‘memorialising’ an account often gets rid of a lot of the historical content, so it can actually be better NOT to memorialise it, as friends and family will lose the history they shared with that person.

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