Facebook Memorials

What happens to your Facebook account when you die? Many of you may have a friend or loved one who has passed away, and yet you can still view and post messages on their page. When a facebook user leaves this world, a family member or loved one can fill out a form to either deactivate or memorialize their account.

This online memorial exists to provide the family and friends with a way to grieve, while also protecting the privacy of the deceased users by setting the account to be viewed only by friends, and indefinitely freezing internal access to the account. Also, once the page is a memorial, it will no longer be seen on timelines, friend suggestions or sidebars. On Facebook’s Memorialization Request Form, you must provide the name, email address and URL of the account to be memorialized, your relationship to the departed, and also a link to an obituary or news article for proof of death.

The request form is simple to complete, which is a good thing for family members who are dealing with heart-wrenching loss, funeral plans, and settling the finances of their loved one. But is it too easy??

Could You Be Killed on Facebook?

It’s a little distressing to think that someone would take advantage of this process meant to respect the dead, in order to prank a friend. However, that is exactly what is happening. Recently, Facebook user Rusty Foster was locked out of his account after one of his friends presented Facebook with his Foster’s account information and a false obituary to memorialize his page, as a practical joke. The evidence sent to Facebook to prove his death was for a man who had the same name, but his birthday and location didn’t match his account information.

Are You Dead on Facebook?

In October 2012 Morgan Freeman fell foul of a Facebook hoax informing millions of his death

Although, since the mishap, Foster’s Facebook account has been set right, this incident raises a couple of questions. Are you friends with a joker who would find it amusing to kill you on Facebook? And, are there any steps that could be taken to prevent false social media deaths?

[Image via movpins]