Family and friends of Facebook members who have died will now have the option of ‘memorialising’ their profiles, the company has announced.
The move, which is already ‘liked’ by over 2,000 Facebook users, follows recent cases of members receiving updates about deceased acquaintances.
Facebook can now remove sensitive information including contact details and status updates from a profile, but keep the profile open for friends to leave posts in remembrance.
Once an account is memorialised it cannot be logged into, and close family members can still request to close the account completely.
Max Kelly, head of security at Facebook, wrote on the company’s official blog yesterday: "When someone leaves us, they don't leave our memories or our social network. To reflect that reality, we created the idea of ‘memorialized’ profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who've passed."
Only confirmed friends of memorialised accounts will be able to see them or find them in a search. The deceased person will also not appear in the recently-introduced ‘suggestions’ panel which, reminds users to ‘reconnect’ with old friends or suggest contacts for people.
"We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them, which is why it's important when someone passes away that their friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialized," Kelly wrote. “As time passes, the sting of losing someone you care about also fades but it never goes away. I still visit my friend's memorialized profile to remember the good times we had and share them with our mutual friends.”