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Facebook will no longer change your privacy settings when you die

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Facebook Nasdaq NYC Stock
Facebook Nasdaq NYC Stock

Facebook will no longer limit who can view the accounts of its deceased members. Until now, Facebook would change the privacy settings on a deceased person's account — known as a "memorial account" — so that only their friends could view the page. But going forward, Facebook will leave privacy settings as the account's owner had set them, so anyone who could view their account while they were living will be able to view their memorial account as well. "We are respecting the choices a person made in life while giving their extended community of family and friends ongoing visibility to the same content they could always see," Facebook writes in a blog post.

"We are respecting the choices a person made in life."

Facebook will also now allow the creation of its "Look Back" compilation videos for memorial accounts. The question of whether a deceased Facebook user's friends and family should be able have one made for them drew the attention of millions earlier this month when John Berlin recorded a touching YouTube video (embedded below) asking Facebook to make one for his deceased son. Facebook says that it was moved by Berlin's request, and it's now put together a process for friends and family to ask that one be made.

Naturally, Facebook has to be extremely delicate when making any sort of privacy change, especially one that could further expose its users' accounts. In this case, it's striking an odd balance between making accounts visible to more people and actually better respecting the settings a person has chosen. These are the only two changes that Facebook is making for now, but it says that it's spent several months working on better ways to handle memorial accounts all around and that there'll be more to come in the future.