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Facebook has a new feature for memorializing the news feeds of people who die: A digital will. The company will let you choose who, if anyone, has access to parts of your account after you die. Conversely, you can also tell Facebook to delete your account in the event of your death.
You can choose whether that person is allowed to download a file of all your pictures and posts for safekeeping. To trigger the will, your friends or family will need to put in a memorial request to [company]Facebook[/company].
The person you grant access to will be able to add new friends to your profile, update your profile and cover photo, and write a memorial message that appears pinned to the top of your page. But they won’t be able to log in as you or view your personal messages.
Before now, Facebook had a basic memorial format that it converted all its profiles to, but it didn’t give anyone access to change or delete the news feed of someone who had died.
In a blog post announcing the news, Facebook said, “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.”
The development comes after the company received widespread criticism for its algorithmically-curated year-in-review stories, which included photos of people who had recently passed away.