What Happens to a Facebook Account when Someone Dies

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Happens to a Facebook Account when Someone Dies

Social networks are intended for us to tell everyone what's going on in our lives, we publish content, we connect with our friends and ultimately share our lives. But what happens when that life is over? What happens to Facebook account when the user dies? Every day you are notified by friendship requests or that it's someone's birthday when they're actually dead. Can you not do anything? On we tell you What happens to a Facebook account when someone dies.

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If nobody warns Facebook, nothing happens

Facebook knows everything about us and might be able to detect if a user has died by changes in their account and the messages they leave their loved ones, but for now they are not using that information for anything. Thus, if the account holder dies, but nobody notifies Facebook of the death, nothing will change. It will just look like the user has stopped using the social network, but their profile will still be on Facebook.

Account closure

Facebook finds that a user has died when a friend or relative and notifies them. So they can close the account, you must make a "Special request for the account of a deceased person" (You can access this page by searching the Help section). Facebook will ask you for your information, the full name of the deceased, email, and URL of their page. In addition, it will ask you what your relationship to the deceased was and what you want to do. One option is Delete this account . You will also have to provide the date of death and, if possible, a death certificate.

What Happens to a Facebook Account when Someone Dies - Account closure

Conversion into a commemorative account

Another option that you can choose from "Special Request for the account of a deceased person" is to convert their account into a commemorative account. Thus, the account is maintained with everything that was published by the user. "In Memory" will appear next to their name; and, depending on their privacy settings, their friends and family may publish words of remembrance on their wall. These accounts, as is evident, cannot return to normal. Besides, no one can log into them.

What Happens to a Facebook Account when Someone Dies - Conversion into a commemorative account

Legacy Contact

Facebook has began thinking about their deceased users, which is why they have recently introduced the concept of legacy contacts (currently only available in the US). Thus, any user could choose within their Facebook settings who they want to deal with their account if it becomes a commemorative account, and whether they want their account to be immortalized into a commemorative account or not. It is much easier than having to prove relationship to the deceased and present evidence of their death.

Who owns the data?

Can other people log into the Facebook account of a deceased user and see everything that was in private (photos, messages, etc.)? If they don't know the password, no. Facebook protects the privacy of its users even after death, so that these secrets will go with them to the grave and cannot be viewed not even by their legacy contact.

And what about the username?

Facebook does not allow duplicate user names, but this changes when a user dies. In these cases, their username is released and other users could claim it and use it themselves. At the end of the day, the original account could have been deleted or simply have become a commemorative account, but it will certainly no longer be active.

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