How to 'Memorialize' the Facebook Pages of the Recently Deceased
Using a touching personal anecdote, Facebook employee Max Kelly blogged about the site's new 'memorializing' feature, which allows people to share memories, and ensures the privacy of both the deceased and his or her family. Shortly after starting at Facebook, Kelly's best friend and co-worker died in a bicycling accident four years ago. At the time, Facebook was a small community of employees, which meant the death took a large toll on each person. Kelly writes in the post that sharing memories helped everyone through the event. "It was a big blow to me personally, but it also was difficult for everyone at Facebook," he says. "As a company, we shared our grief, and for many people it was their first interaction with death."
But questions arose from this death, too. Like, what will happen to this person's Facebook profile? From there, Kelly and others began developing the idea of "memorializing" profiles in order to let people share their memories of the deceased.
According to CNET News, in order to 'memorialize' a profile, a user must prove that he or she had a relationship with the departed person, which can be done by providing the person's e-mail address or date of birth. Next, you'll need to send Facebook a link to a news article or obituary confirming the death. This is necessary, presumably, to discourage pranksters from 'memorializing' still-living friends.
Once this is confirmed, personal information, like telephone numbers, will be removed, and the profile will be hidden from anyone that isn't a confirmed friend. This way, only those close to the deceased can visit the page and write on his or her wall. To protect against hackers, the profile will be locked from all log-ins, too.
While it might not know how to design a homepage, Facebook definitely made the right call here. We here at Switched have at least two recently deceased friends whose Facebook pages are still up, and part of the grieving process definitely involved posting personal memories, anecdotes and other tributes on our late friends' Facebook walls.
It's comforting to know our profile will be maintained once we've gone to the other side. Best of all, we won't have to worry about those stupid application requests. [From: The Facebook Blog and CNET News, via Boing Boing]