Grieving man's plea spurs Facebook to change policies on deceased users

Facebook Look Back
Grieving Facebook users can now request a Look Back for lost loved ones

Facebook is where many people document the minutiae of everyday life, but what happens to a person's profile when he or she dies?

That's a question that's been asked many times before, but now it looks like Facebook may finally have a solution.

Previously Facebook would lock the accounts of users who passed so that only people who were friends with that person could see their profiles, but now profiles will simply remain as they are, honoring the deceased person's existing privacy settings.

"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's Chris Price and Alex DiSclafani wrote in an announcement.

Looking back

In addition, Facebook will now allow family members to view lost loved ones' "Look Back" videos -recently introduced custom montages that broadly document users' lives since they began using the site.

This move was spurred by the pleas of one grieving father, John Berlin, who created a video in early February asking Facebook to let him see his late son's Look Back.

More than a week after posting the video, Berlin commented on YouTube that Facebook had sent him the video. Upon learning today's news, he wrote, "Facebook did it. They made the change, thx to everyone for your support in making my request heard."

You can contact Facebook directly to request a Look Back video for other memorialized accounts.

"Over the past several months, we've been thinking about and working on better ways for people to remember loved ones," Price and DiSclafani wrote.

"As we continue to think through each aspect of memorialization, we ask ourselves questions that have no easy answers: How might people feel? Are we honoring the wishes and legacy of the person who passed away? Are we serving people who are grieving the loss of a loved one as best we can?"

They continued, "We will have more to share in the coming months as we continue to think through how best to help people decide how they want to be remembered and what they want to leave behind for loved ones."

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.