What happens to our Facebook page after we die?

It’s been a question we’ve asked for a long time now… What happens to our Facebook pages when we die? If you’ve had a friend who is also a Facebook friend pass away before, then you’ll know that people write beautiful messages on the wall and when every single birthday comes around people send write to them again – just as if they’re here.

There’s never been a way for people to “turn off” Facebook after someone passes away unless you know their password and log in details. Until now. Yesterday Facebook announced a new feature that allows us to appoint an “online executor” to our page. This person has access to your page when you die and can do a selection of different things:

  • post a final message
  • change the profile and cover photo
  • approve new friend requests
  • shut the page down entirely
  • freeze it but keep it online
  • keep it running with access for people to post new comments and messages

Facebook has said when explaining this new feature, that they’ve done this due to the public request for it. “We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos. We realised there was more that we could do.”

Just personally, I struggle to get my head around the idea that if we had passed away ten years ago it wasn’t an issue but today it’s something that almost everyone needs to think about.

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It’s a nice idea really that just like in the real world with our belongings, we can appoint someone to control something like our Facebook page, I just hope that this tool never gets misused.

What do you think of the new feature? Will you use it? Do you think it answers a big problem? 

These are currently active for people living in the United States and the feature will be available in Australia and New Zealand in the coming months.