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Facebook has announced a new service for the friends and family of dead people. Monday morning, after some public pressure from Canada's privacy czar, Mark Zuckerberg and company told the world they're now "memorializing" the Facebook profiles of those who graduate to that big social network in the sky. "When someone leaves …
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It asks for a link to the obituary of the decesed - surely this will be problematic for us mere proles who are unlikely to merit an announcement in the broadsheets?
Does the person who reports the death, then have admin rights to the account. I do hope that someone does, and can log into the account to edit things as necessary.
So anyone who knows some basic biographical details and who can knock together a web article that passes the half-second glance it will get from some underpaid, overworked Facebook person can make someone permanently dead in the Facebook world? That's gonna work really well, that is...
I wonder how you prove you're not deceased when somebody reports you as being six feet under?
El Reg really needs a "Stupid Zuckerberg, Bitch!" icon.
Oh dear, this one's going to end up stiffed!
Why are you patiently waiting?? Start getting to work on virtually nobbling someone! I think there should be a prize of camel balls for the first commentard to successfully prove they've got themselves a virtual kill.
.... they contact the primary email to give the holder a chance to object, which I realise is nowhere near perfect but better than nil.
Faking... um... 'face'-ing one's own death may be an interesting sport though.
"Facebook also says it will "try to protect the deceased's privacy by removing sensitive information such as contact information and status updates"..."
Am I the only one who sees the absurd humour in that statement? This article has to be a joke.....right?
Frankly, I don't miss 'em. I have a RealLife(tm); they never really did. Sorry sods.
Damn! There goes one of the Web 2.0 ways of communicating with the deceased.
Oh well, back to listening to static on AM radio and check white noise on old TV sets for some messages from beyond.
Yes, fooling Facebook about this would be about as funny as posting a fake notice in the obituaries section of your local newspaper. So I'm sure a lot of people will do it.
This memorialization idea isn't too bad really..
It would be good to make "most" of the profile public after 100 years.
As with census data and official secrets, there comes a time when privacy is meaningless because nobody concerned is still around to have any privacy to be preserved.
What matters then is genealogy and history. And the most interesting part of history is the affairs and events of common people.
No way, your relatives should be able to log in and delete your profile.
Sorry, I mean deactivate. Why would anyone want to delete data from the internet? Silly me, sorry, Zuckerberg.
Before long when all the sensible people have deleted their profiles, yes I mean deactivated again, Facebook will be left with just the deceased and rename itself Headstonebook.
Now can Twitter make it so that a deceased account continues spewing trash too? That would be nice.
Facebook removes contact information ? You mean so the dead person doesn't need to answer the phone/email or something ?
Worms. Can of.
John Doe is rotting away quite nicely at the moment.
Obituary comments? Send a message to your dead friend/relative?
What next? A gravestone that tweets?
Blargh, are there social networks in heaven? Hell looks more and more interesting (not that I have a choice)...
Coat please o/
Spooky ! That was _word-for-word_ what I was going to write as a comment when I read the article - even the subject line.
What about people who are reported as dead, who then have their email account hacked. They email FB saying, "but I'm not dead". FB reopens their account and the grieving relatives then get asked if they want to join their Mafia and get a penis enhancement from the dead, etc.
Don't get me wrong.. I think this is a nice idea. But yes, I could see how this could be a nightmare to administer.
A friend of mine died last year but requests from several people to have his Facebook account removed were all ignored. With them refusing to do anything then, am I expected to be pleased with this move now? I have already had a few suggestions to get back in contact with him, which is not very nice.
... when Facebook itself dies? Will zombies come back to sue for broken promises? Will elements of ash reunite to stand in the witness box?
Good grief, Charlie Brown ... “I've developed a new philosophy... I only dread one day at a time.”
Error 412, unable to log in due to user status DEAD. If you are undead please click here
Brings new possibilitys to those "John Smith has infected you and you are now a zombie!!!1!1!11one" messages you get !
But will being dead stop you getting invites to join some group you care nothing about?
...had a very good policy. When I contacted them about a friend who had passed away, they told me very tactfully that they needed a family member to inform them, and to tell them whether they wanted the profile updated and left, or removed completely.
Thinking of FriendsReunited raises another issue, though: does it really matter? I suppose it depends upon whether you think Facebook will last forever, or fade into obscurity as we move onto the Next Thing.
Although some christians might object to not being allowed to update their status from up there so they can rub it in the face of atheists. Let's face it "Playing harp for Jesus" sounds better than "rotting away and not giving a fuck about you and your harp".
"When someone leaves us, they don't leave our memories or our social network"
Of course they bloody leave our social network. They're dead! Anyone who socialises with dead people is not, frankly, someone I'd want to "network" with. "Hey, Pete mate, how's it hanging? Say again? It's been eaten by maggots? That's harsh mate."
Zuckerberg et al don't "get" how people feel about dead friends anymore than they "get" how people feel about live ones.
It does sound like there needs to be more safeguards to this, but it's about time - it keeps telling me to get in touch with someone who's died, but his wall has become a bit of a place for well wishes and helping to organise memoiral parties etc so wouldn't want it deleted - plus they may not be living now but that's no reason to remove them from history.
... Gulfie is feeling ill today ...
... Gulfie has shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the chior invisible ...
... Gulfie is feeling nice and toasty (briefly) ...
My only trouble is how I get those last two updates posted, and how I change my registered email to email@example.com (or is that @hell.afterlife.org)
That's their biggest fear though isn't it - that investors might realise usage levels are dropping, people are leaving in droves, not logging in anymore and going back to communicating via private email / address book. That's why they make it all but impossible to actually delete your private data.
Good rithens to the Zuckerberg man in the middle attack.
Only a matter of time now till you join Geocities and MySpace on the scrap heap of broken social networking wet-dreams.
... you're just mostly dead?
I joked that they would need to create a "Gravebook" when my generation starts dying.
Having someones whole social life online and then not really knowing when they die or what to do with their profile if they are dead is a problem. I say delete all accounts that haven't been accessed in 3 months and be done with it.
Heaven forbid they actually erase someone's personal information though, then they couldn't sell it to shady marketing companies and government agencies.
Take off and nuke Facebook from space, it's the only way to be sure.
So the only way to truly get off Facebook is to either never join it or to nuke Facebook from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.
Facebook's business is based around learning interconnections between people and from there data mining what their collective interests are. Dead people provide yet another node to connect the living. At first it was hard to see what there business plan for this move must be, until it occurred to me that its a marketing stunt and marketing tool to keep drawing more people to look at the dead profile and then they have to join Facebook to leave messages. Family and friends who are not members of Facebook would join Facebook to leave messages of remembrance for the dead. Bingo! - we then get more people joining Facebook so ever more people for Facebook to data mine. Plus once they have joined they are then encouraged to stay in contact with friends and family via Facebook.
This isn't empathy for the dead or the living, its a business model to make people feel compelled to join Facebook at a time they are very emotionally vulnerable as they want to leave messages of remembrance for the dead.
I would like to think they couldn't stoop any lower than this move, but sadly I keep learning that Narcissists in business seem to always find ever more ways to exploit people for their own gain. Of course they would never admit this was a business move. Being two faced is all part of their game.
We had this problem recently, as my daughter died and we wanted to contact her acquaintances abroad. On way was to inform via facebook, but many were unbelieving, some even disturbed at a supposed prank. Also, it was a matter of luck that her boyfriend could access her account, and was able to add information.
that Zuckerberg is the Haley Joel Osment of web2.0 ? (or should that be web 2.oooow?)
What happens if, like me, you're dead inside?
But what will happen to their Farmville? I have terrible visions of unharvested crops and dying cattle. Something must be done to help their farms carry on after they die.
"Being two faced is all part of their game"
Let's refer to them as twofacedbook.com then from now on. Or, in the true spirit of web 0.2 naming: 2facedbook.com
> I say delete all accounts that haven't been accessed in 3 months and be done with it.
Deleting a facebook account? Ha, you should be so lucky! Think of the impact on user numbers spin?
re: Britt Jonston / Dead Daughter
> it was a matter of luck that her boyfriend could access her account, and was able to add information.
A matter of luck? Sounds like he was likely spying on her to me! Although isn't that what Facebook is all about really?
It's only a matter of time before legions of dead Facebook users are given the vote or something.
Scarcely a news article goes by these days that doesn't mention some shite joke Facebook group as if it were important. No doubt dead people will remain affiliated to these groups and It's only a matter of time before politicians start using them to make important decisions.
Kill me now
Wait... that would make me part of the problem.
They've got our balls in a vice here.
I had a friend I knew online that got sick a lot and finally kicked the bucket. He was the admin of our irc channel. His LJ account had only two posts in it and one post became a memorial message board for his friends.
Cheers to eeZer/Andy
My friend has memorialized my facebook and I can no longer log in.
He just linked it to an obituary of someone with my name, although he's 40 years older than me, and a couple days later... voila.
So how do I fix it???
If what you're saying is true, send FB an email from the account you registered with, and ask them what they will accept as evidence you are very much alive. Then if/when you get your account back, see how long you can resist posting this quote as a status update:
"I regret to inform you that rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
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