Facebook to 'memorialise' profiles of the dead

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Social networking giant Facebook has launched a feature which preserves the profile of lost friends and loved ones after their death.

'Memorialised' accounts can only be found or accessed by confirmed friends at the time of the person's death. Elements of the profile that would be inappropriate under the circumstances, such as their last status updates and contact information, are removed but their wall remains active as a memorial.

"When someone leaves us, they don't leave our memories or our social network," Max Kelly wrote on the Facebook blog. "To reflect that reality, we created the idea of 'memorialised' profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who've passed."

The blog assures those concerned about security that the account's log-in will be completely disabled, and friends won't ever be prompted to connect with the memorialised account in their 'Suggestions' section, as with a normal account that hasn't been interacted with in some time.

Reporting the death of a Facebook member involves filling out a Deceased form, which requires the submission of a link to an online obituary or news article that can serve as proof of death.

"We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them," Kelly wrote, "which is why it's important when someone passes away that their friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialised."