Adding separate tribute sections: Facebook enhances memorialized user accounts

Judy Cobb
April 12, 2019

Friends and family members will be able to continue to post memories of loved ones on their pages.

"These changes are the result of feedback we heard from people of different religions and cultural backgrounds as well as experts and academics".

Facebook says it will use artificial intelligence to help find profiles of people who have died so their friends and family members won't get, for instance, painful reminders about their birthdays.

Figures from the social network showed that 30 million people view memorialised profiles - the accounts of people who have died - each month.

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'This lets people see the types of posts that are most helpful to them as they grieve and remember their loved ones, ' she added.

The new tributes section creates a separate tab on memorialized profiles where friends and family can share posts while keeping the original timeline of loved ones who've passed away. These are other Facebook users who they have designated as a trusted person or persons, who can take over in the event of their death.

Memorialisation of accounts allows for treasured images, videos and posts to be kept online, as well as providing a focal point for grieving friends and relatives to share memories. Legacy contacts will be able to moderate the new tribute section, limiting who can post or see posts on that page.

The social networking platform is also adding controls for legacy contacts, or the family member or friend entrusted to care for the deceased person's Facebook account when they die. With the newly announced changes, Facebook will try to prevent accounts that have been memorialized from showing up in notifications. This includes steps to avoid a deceased person's account from showing up in tag suggestions for invites to events or birthday reminders. Sandberg didn't explain exactly how the new artificial intelligence features will work, but a Facebook spokesperson told NPR the company will look at a variety of signals that might indicate the person is deceased. In such cases, the nominated legacy contact can write a pinned post for the users' profile, decide who can see and who can post tributes, change who can see posts that the user is tagged in, update the profile picture and cover photo and request the removal of the account.

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