Gods-awful social media giant Facebook recently announced a new feature that allows users to select who they want control of their account to go to after they’ve died. Because, in the event of your eventual and inevitable demise, your Facebook page is so f*©king important that your grieving friends or loved ones should have to worry about that, too. Personally, I don’t even give a $#!t about the Facebook pages of friends who are alive.
The new “legacy” option is designed to give the designated recipient only partial control of the deceased’s account. The inheritor of the account will be able to write a message at the top of the page, ostensibly to let others know the account holder has died and to alert contacts of memorial service info. But, because it’s the internet and people are jerks, one could potentially write just about anything. So be sure you pick your inheritor wisely, lest “[Your Name Here] is a stupid dead jerk” becomes your digital epitaph.
(Also—again—your Facebook page is probably not the first thing those you’ve left behind are going to worry about, so your funeral/memorial/whatever will probably be over by the time they think to even worry about what happens to your social media accounts.)
Users can choose to give their inheritors the opportunity to download a complete archive of their photos, posts, and profile information. The legacy contact will not be able to log into the account of the departed, and contacts will remain hidden, as well. Although, if you’re looking to plan a memorial for someone, that would probably super helpful. Way to go on that one, Facebook.
Upon selecting who will inherit their Facebook account, users have the option of sending that person a notification email. Why this would be optional, I have no idea. I doubt anyone wants to find that kind of surprise in their inbox after a friend or loved one has died—that’s the kind of thing you need to know about ahead of time.
After the inheritor takes over the account, “Remembering” will appear above the deceased’s name on their page. Profile pictures and cover photos can be changed, so that photo of you chugging Cuervo straight from the bottle in Mexico won’t have to be the final image everyone sees of your ugly mug.
What is unclear is exactly how one is supposed to prove that the person whose account they’re meant to inherit has actually died. I predict a lot of shenanigans to result from this. Again, because the internet.
Stupid Facebook’s stupid legacy feature will be rolling out soon in these United States, with other, lesser countries to follow.