Few people have ever asked themselves the question, “who will manage my social media accounts after I die” but Facebook may have changed that. Instead of simply freezing the accounts of deceased people, the company will allow users to appoint a “legacy contact” who will manage the page as a memorial. The change comes from family members wanting to post funeral information or preserve information or photos from a loved one’s page.
People will have to make the decision to allow someone to manage their page after death, much like appointing an executor of a will. If they do not decide to do this, Facebook will simply freeze the page as it has generally done previously. The person will not have access to private messages, but will be able to update cover photos and the profile.
The question of what to do with a person’s online presence after death is a relatively new one. Less than 12 states have laws governing what happens to the digital assets of people who passed away. Of course, there are concerns about the privacy of the dead. According to polls, 71% of Americans would like their online communications to remain private after death, which Facebook appears to be trying to respect with the details of its policy.