Death Gets a Facebook Update / ReadWrite

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Social media sites, so good at chronicling the ins and outs of our lives, have been uniquely terrible at handling their inevitable end.

On Facebook, for instance, a reported death has long stuck friends and family with a static and almost ghostly memorial account—one disconnected from the lives of others even as it continued to display posts from the bereaved and the clueless alike. (For a while, accounts of the deceased sometimes mysteriously continued to “like” things as well.)

Fortunately, that’s starting to change. Today, Facebook is announcing a new feature that lets people choose a representative—a family member, friend, or someone else they trust—to manage their account and data if they pass away. These “legacy contacts,” as Facebook calls them, can effectively maintain the profile as a living memorial to the deceased.

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