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:
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.