Facebook now lets users name someone to take over their account after they die

Facebook has unveiled a new feature which lets users appoint a digital executor to maintain their account after they die.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced its users would be able to appoint a friend or loved one to maintain their social media account after they die, and as of today, the feature is now live in the UK.

Users also have the opportunity for their accounts to be deleted upon death – although someone will still need to inform Facebook that they have passed away.

Facebook’s previous policy was to freeze a profile upon death allowing them to serve as a ‘memorial.’

Anyone nominated as an online executor will be able to write a post to be displayed at the top of the profile and will be able to change profile images on the page, and accept or decline new friend requests on behalf of the deceased.

However, they will not  will however not be able to edit what the deceased already posted, what friends continue to post on the page, read the deceased’s private messages, or remove tagged images – and they will not be able to delete the account.

In a statement Facebook said it was making the changes in response to feedback from releatives of users who have passed away.

The statement said: “Until now, when someone passed away, we offered a basic memorialized account which was viewable, but could not be managed by anyone.

“By talking to people who have experienced loss, we realized there is more we can do to support those who are grieving and those who want a say in what happens to their account after death.”

Hannah Al-Othman