OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It can be difficult to handle a loved one’s social media after they pass, but there are a few things you should know that might make the process easier.
Facebook: Let’s start with the biggest and most frequently used social media platform on the web today. When someone with a Facebook profile dies, there are two different things someone with authority over their account can do. You can either “memorialize” it or “delete” it.
A memorialized account serves as a place where friends and family can share stories, photos or memories to celebrate the deceased person’s life, with the word “Remembering” shown next to the deceased person’s name. Once an account is memorialized, content the person shared is still visible on Facebook to the audience it was originally shared with, however, the user’s profile will not show up in public spaces such as people you may know, ads or birthday reminders.
If you don’t wish to memorialize your loved one’s profile, you can also have their account permanently deleted from Facebook.
Facebook allows users (when they’re alive) to choose a “legacy contact,” which is a person chosen to look after their account once they’ve passed away, or users can request to have their account permanently deleted after they die. (To do either of these tasks, click on “Settings” on the top right of Facebook, then click on “General” on the left-side menu and then on “Manage Account.”)
If your loved one didn’t set up a legacy contact before he or she passed, you can submit a memorialization request at Facebook.com/help – type in “How do I report a deceased person on Facebook that needs to be memorialized?” in the search bar. You’ll be asked to provide proof of death by providing a copy of either an obituary, death certificate or memorial card.
Or, if you would rather have her account deleted go to Facebook.com/help, and type in “How do I request the removal of a deceased family member’s Facebook account?” This also requires proof of death plus verification that you’re an immediate family member or executor of the account holder.
Instagram: Instagram’s policy on a deceased users’ account is similar to its parent company, Facebook. A deceased users’ account can either be memorialized or removed, which you can request at Help.Instagram.com/264154560391256.
Like Facebook, to memorialize an Instagram account requires proof of death, but to remove an account you’ll also need to provide verification that you’re an immediate family member.
Twitter: If your loved one was a Twitter user, Twitter will work with anyone who is authorized to act on behalf of their estate, or with a verified immediate family member to have an account deactivated. To request the removal of your loved one’s account, go to Help.Twitter.com/forms/privacy.
After you submit your request, Twitter will email you with instructions for providing more details, including information about the deceased, a copy of your ID, and a copy of the deceased’s death certificate.
LinkedIn: If your loved one also had a LinkedIn profile, the only option is to delete their account. To request this, see LinkedIn.com/help/linkedin/ask/ts-rdmlp. You’ll need to provide the name and URL to their LinkedIn profile; the relationship you have to him or her; their email address; date they passed away; link to an obituary; and company they most recently worked for.