In Case You Die Off Before Facebook Does

How to use Facebook's new Legacy Contact feature

Facebook security setting
Credit: Bob Brown

Facebook has added an option for users to delegate management of their account for when they die.

The idea is to avoid awkward lingering Facebook pages after a person passes on, perhaps featuring images or posts that someone would rather not be remembered by.

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The process for adding a Legacy Contact is simple.

Go to your Security setting and scroll down to Legacy Contact. You'll have the option to add a contact from your friends' list, and let them know you're doing so either now or when you die. "They'll be able to do things like pin a post on your Timeline, respond to new friend requests, and update your profile picture. They won't post as you or see your messages," Facebook says.

You can also direct Facebook to simply delete your account.

(Note: The Legacy Contact feature is available initially in the United States, with plans to expand it later on to other parts of the world.)

This isn't the first time Facebook has put thought into what happens to users' accounts when the users die. A year ago the social network outlined a more flexible approach to memorializing accounts. Now memorialized accounts will have the word "Remembering" hovering above a person's name.

Facebook isn't the only one addressing what becomes of social media accounts after a person dies. The government is stepping in too, such as in Delaware, where heirs gain access to loved ones' virtual lives.

More from Facebook about adding a Legacy Contact.

This story, "In Case You Die Off Before Facebook Does" was originally published by Network World.

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