Facebook is the world’s largest social network with more than 2.5 billion monthly active users. As it relates to Facebook profiles, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, famously said in a 2009 interview with Wired magazine: “Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They're keeping up with their friends and family, but they're also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand.”
At the highest level, a brand can be defined as a particular identity or image regarded as an asset. These social media identities or brands are increasingly valuable and personal assets that may not be addressed in funeral planning. After a loved one passes away, a modern and frequently asked question is what happens to social media profiles after death? There are 2 ways social media profiles can be handled.
This blog post will address the first approach, which is a best practice, of properly reporting a decedent’s social media profiles to the social networks results in closing a profile and definitively restricts any further use, or memorializing a profile which is an option only for Facebook or Instagram profiles. Closing a profile deletes the account and personal information from the social network, which is a secure and straight forward solution. Memorializing a profile prevents anyone from logging into the account to protect against unauthorized use, and the profile stays online as a place for family, friends and others to gather. Again, this memorialization option is only available on Facebook and Instagram, which are owned by the same company. At this time, all other social networks simply offer one option to close and delete the profile.
Memorializing a Facebook profile is an increasingly popular solution after a user passes away. Similar to learning about a death directly from a person, the indirect communication through a memorialized Facebook profile can prompt family, friends, colleagues and others to reach out and offer support and help with the funeral and bereavement process. After a funeral occurs, a memorialized profile can offer a place to find ongoing solace and emotional support. A memorialized Facebook profile shows the word “Remembering” next to the decedent’s name. In turn, when family, friends, colleagues and others visit the profile of the decedent, it clearly communicates they have passed away.
Additionally, a limited option prior to a user passing away, is the ability to appoint what is known as a Legacy contact, which is someone the decedent chose prior to death to look after their memorialized account. Legacy contacts have the option to write a post for the profile such as a final message or provide information about a memorial service, update profile pictures, and request the removal of a decedent’s account. However, a Legacy contact cannot log into the account, read messages, remove friends, or make new friend requests. Essentially, a Legacy contact has very limited access to the decedent’s profile as an extension of their own Facebook profile and account capabilities or functionality. We will address the pros and cons of appointing a Legacy contact when we discuss pre-need planning approaches next.
It is important to know that memorialization is an option on Facebook since it can be a helpful aspect of social media in the context of funeral service. To summarize the first approach of closing or memorializing a social media profile at the time of death, this is the preferred, prudent and most practical method to mitigate the emotional impact social media can have on family, friends, colleagues and others in the community.
To learn more, we invite you to attend our Continuing Education (CE) webinar titled titled “Social Media & Funeral Planning”, which provides information on social media in the context of social science and funeral planning. During this 1 hour informational session, we offer practical guidance licensees can share with families to address concerns about a decedent’s social media profiles. Upon completion of this program, the licensee will gain a clear understanding of the concerns family members have about a decedent’s social media profiles, and become familiar with the solutions and services available to address those concerns as part of modern-day funeral planning.
Click here to register >
Profile Peace is an online profile memorialization & closure service that helps social media users and family members lay digital identities to rest as part of modern day funeral planning. This blog post will address pre-planning or pre-need approaches for managing social media profiles posthumously.
As it relates to pre-need approaches, which in the context of funeral planning, means before a death has occurred, there are 4 main solutions to consider for closing or memorializing social media profiles.
A second pre-need option is using a third-party service such as Profile Peace where a social media user can list their accounts in a secure online database along with their closure and memorialization preferences, and then authorize the service provider to submit their requests upon their death. This option is a best practice in addition to a will, and is a new and modern alternative to formal estate planning. Since more than 60% of people do not have a will or estate plan according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), pre-planning services like Profile Peace are a practical and cost effective social media solution. This is a new service being introduced by organizations such as Profile Peace in order to meet social media user’s directives for how to handle profiles after death. Click here to learn more about the process Profile Peace provides for listing profiles, selecting preferences, and granting legal authority to a social media service provider to act on your behalf at death.
Moving onto the fourth pre-need planning solution is appointing a legacy contact for Facebook. As discussed earlier when addressing properly closing a social media profile and memorializing accounts, this is an effective solution for Facebook, but does not help close other social media accounts. The result is that the legacy contact is then granted permission to formally request the deletion of a decedent’s Facebook profile at any time. As other social networks progress and evolve to meet the needs of their users, we hope to see similar legacy functionality in the future. Presently, the option of appointing a legacy contact does not address other social media profiles, and therefore is not considered a best practice since it is not a complete and comprehensive solution.
To summarize these four pre-planning approaches, creating a will, appointing a pre-planning service like Profile Peace, trusting a friend or family member with your passwords, or a choosing a legacy contact are the main ways to pre-plan for a decedent’s social media accounts, and having a will in place or a pre-planning service like Profile Peace are best practice solutions. Click here to learn more about our Pre-Planning Social Media Service >
Posting stories on your profile is a fun way to stay in touch. Preserving your legacy online is a prudent way to stay present in the lives of those you love. Profile Peace pre-planning social media service helps you design a lasting and memorable presence posthumously, including setting up profile preferences, tributes, fundraising, and celebrations.
Our pre-planning service maintains a current list of your social media profiles along with your closure and memorialization preferences. Profile Peace will honor your requests as you wish, and secure your accounts with dignity and care.
Create your tribute video(s) with content from your social media profiles to celebrate your vibrant life! Easily add content from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more to capture and share highlights of your digital legacy.
Raise funds to help cover funeral costs and invest in causes you care about to leave a lasting impact! From family funeral funds to charitable organizations, you can raise funds to support the people and purposes that are dear to your heart.
Celebrations of Life
Share your life story and let others know your special requests. What is your vision of how your family and friends can honor your life? Dedicate a memorable experience to pay respect to the people, places, and things you love.
Our pre-planning service honors your digital legacy by closing and memorializing your social media profiles and celebrating your life posthumously. We help you secure your online accounts, create tribute videos, support the causes you care about, and celebrate your life the way you want. Click here to sign up for our beta launch >
Happy Memorial Day! As we celebrate the start of summer with friends, food, and fun, Profile Peace gratefully honors the military personnel who have served and sacrificed so greatly.
Learn how we help online legacies live on with our pre-planning and in memoriam social media services. Profile Peace wishes you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!
Social media profile information can appear posthumously in advertisements, connections, and notifications to family, friends, and colleagues. To provide peace of mind and protect online legacies, Profile Peace created a continuing education webinar titled "Social Media & Funeral Planning" on caring for a decedent’s social media profiles.
Webinar: Social Media & Funeral Planning
This webinar identifies the 2 ways social media profiles can be handled after death of reporting or not reporting social media profiles to social networks, addresses the benefits of reporting profiles for closure or memorialization, and the security and emotional concerns of unreported profiles appearing in advertisements, connections and notifications.
Our mission is to provide purposeful profile memorialization and closure. With this in mind, Profile Peace warmly invites you to learn social media and funeral planning best practices and earn CE credits. Simply click here to join our community of funeral directors and gain access to the Continuing Education (CE) programs provided by Profile Peace >
On behalf of the Profile Peace community, we thank the brave health care workers on the front lines fighting for our lives against COVID-19. To all social media users and family members impacted by the novel coronavirus, fees for our In Memoriam Social Media Service will be waived to help provide purposeful profile memorialization and closure during this time of difficulty. To learn more, contact our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure the health and safety of all, we strongly encourage everyone to take personal responsibility by strictly adhering to the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please visit the CDC website to learn how to protect yourself, what to do if you think you are sick, symptoms, risks associated with older adults & medical conditions, and how to prepare your family at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
As we practice social distancing and hygiene best practices, our hearts go out to all who are playing an important role to mitigate the spread of the virus. We offer our deepest condolences for those who have lost loved ones as a result of COVID-19. Our culture is centered on courtesy and care, and we are fully committed to help those who are impacted. We welcome you to contact us for social media assistance by emailing email@example.com.
When it comes to social network notifications from our late loved one's, less can be more. To help quiet social network notifications, Profile Peace recommends formally memorializing profiles using our pre-planning and in memoriam social media services.
Social media data includes personal information such as passions, photos, and places connected to our profiles. This data is distributed throughout networks in the form of friend suggestions, birthday reminders, work anniversaries, ads and more.
To serve our audience of families and funeral directors, we created a continuing education webinar titled "Social Media & Funeral Planning" that addresses how a decedent’s social media profiles can impact family, friends, and others. Watch here.
We encourage the Profile Peace community to protect and preserve social media data properly to prevent appearances posthumously. Our mission is to provide purposeful profile memorialization and closure. We welcome you to join our community>
Celebrating Online Legacies in 2020: As we share our digital lives in the new year ahead, Profile Peace is helping social media users and family members celebrate online legacies. Our 2020 initiative is to deliver educational programs on best practices for memorializing social media profiles.
Continuing Education (CE) Programs
Our learning objectives are designed to help social media users, family members, and funeral directors understand and implement social media pre-planning and in memoriam best practices. The Profile Peace mission is to honor online legacies by providing purposeful profile memorialization and closure.
For funeral directors, Profile Peace is an approved provider of Continuing Education programs with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) under License 274.000081, and the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP) under Provider Number 1153.
To start learning, visit our Continuing Education (CE) page here. To read more about our social media services, visit our Pre-Planning page here and In Memoriam page here. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We warmly welcome you to join our growing community here.
From all of us at Profile Peace, we hope you have a heartfelt holiday season. Please take time to connect with loved ones this time of year.
As a helpful resource, the Center for Loss & Life Transition shared this thoughtful guide for “Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season.”
With sincere gratitude, we thank you for your support and send all of the very best to you and yours. Wishing you warm season’s greetings!
From the Profile Peace family to yours, we wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving full of sincere gratitude, remembrance, and appreciation.
In the spirit of adding more community, love, and magic to your family’s Thanksgiving holiday, please enjoy the thoughtful Thanksgiving Reader by Seth Godin.
We warmly welcome you to join the Profile Peace community, and thank you for supporting our mission of providing purposeful profile memorialization and closure.