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Facebook adds features for memorializing users who have died

Posted at 11:32 AM, Apr 09, 2019

Facebook is launching a new "Tributes" section, creating a separate tab on memorialized profiles where friends and family may share posts.

The goal is to preserve the original timeline of the person who died, allowing visitors to the profile to see what they wish to see. 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.

"Legacy contacts can now moderate the posts shared to the new tributes section by changing tagging settings, removing tags and editing who can post and see posts. This helps them manage content that might be hard for friends and family to see if they’re not ready. These new controls build on features we’ve had in place for years, like the ability to update the person’s profile picture and cover photo, and to pin a post to the top of their profile (often used for things like information about memorial services)," said Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook.

More than 30 million people view memorialized profiles each month to post things to remember people, Facebook officials said.

The company also wants to minimize experiences that could be painful for some, so it is allowing requests from friends and family members to have an account memorialized. Facebook will "use AI to help keep the profile from showing up in places that might cause distress, like recommending that person be invited to events or sending a birthday reminder to their friends. We’re working to get better and faster at this," Sandberg said.