Relative Dead -- What to do with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
February 23, 2013 11:33 PM   Subscribe

My step-brother died unexpectedly Friday evening. He was in his early 40's. Hoping someone can walk me through what to do with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I was hoping to get advice about best practices in a situation like this. Do people create memorial pages on FB? Do they turn the deceased's FB profile into the memorial or create a separate profile? Do they post from the deceased's FB profile to alert his followers? Links to examples, FB policies, advice, all appreciated.

I have no idea what to do with Twitter and LinkedIn. Send a tweet to his followers linking to the FB memorial page if one is created? What about LinkedIn?

These are basic questions of the RTFM variety and at another time I would have no problem working it out but at the moment it is all I can do to compose this Ask.
posted by mlis to Human Relations (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My deepest condolences on your loss.

For Facebook, here is an article on how to create a memorial page, and who to contact to make that happen: Memories of Departed Endure on Facebook.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:41 PM on February 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

My condolences.

From this page there are links to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. The Facebook page allows you to transform your step-brother's page into a memorial.
posted by bwonder2 at 1:58 AM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I am very sorry for your loss.

For LinkedIn, you have to submit a verification form in order to close his account, so you may not even want to bother with it if he didn't use it much/others didn't use it to contact him much.
posted by mermaidcafe at 2:15 AM on February 24, 2013

I am sorry to hear of your terrible loss.

A few years ago Facebook reverse its previous policy of immediately shutting down any page belonging to a user who was deceased. Since then three of my Facebook friends have died (one relative, one co-worker, one bandmate) and all three pages are still in place -- people post photos, share stories, mark birthdays and other anniversaries. The links posted above should help. I encourage you to keep his page for this: the nature of Facebook is that it is often not just friends but people who see others infrequently who are in touch on Facebook, and this seems a gentle way to spread the bad news.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:48 AM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Re: facebook. I'd wait a bit before going the official route, which freezes the page. A friend just died 12 days ago. We have not done anything formal with her facebook page yet -- another friend has the password and her facebook timeline has been a place for her friends around the country to gather, mourn and find each other. More friends have been added. Photos have been tagged. Memorial was announced. People have written on her wall, addressing final words to her, and posted links to blog posts memorializing her.

Get access to his facebook account if you can and announce his passing through the page, and then let people post things (remove barriers to posting on the page and tagging him, if his privacy settings were high). If you notify facebook, they freeze this from happening. facebook did this with my uncle's page, who passed away in February, and it felt kinda harsh to people who still wanted to post final thoughts and share photos.
posted by sweltering at 6:51 AM on February 24, 2013

Do they post from the deceased's FB profile to alert his followers?

In my limited experience, this is what happens. It is relatively simple, provided you can get access to the page, and I personally would feel skeptical of any official Facebook/Twitter/etc feature for transforming the page into a memorial. Having relatives take over the profile for notification has worked in my experience, and it's what I'd do.

I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by cribcage at 7:48 AM on February 24, 2013

Sincere condolences for your loss. Its very thoughtful of you to even be able to think about the question right now.

I don't know about FB or Twitter but if one of my contacts on LinkedIn passed away, I would really appreciate if someone let me know, especially if its someone I know well and I would consider going to the funeral or such.

That said, I don't know how you would go about it. If I get a message to that effect, my reflex response would be that its spam. If you have details regarding the funeral or other services then that will certainly dispel suspicions.

Again, I am sorry for your loss. Its a tough journey.
posted by xm at 9:55 AM on February 24, 2013

A friend of mine died a few months ago, and his Facebook page is still up. It's how many of us heard the news, and where his family could post information about the memorial service, and we've all been putting up photos and links to his projects and such. I appreciate that it's there. So mine is another suggestion that you let it stay up, at least for now.

One thing I've noticed about my friend's Facebook page: I tried to put a photo of him on there that I'd tagged him in, and it never showed up. I presume that he had the setting so that photos of him couldn't be posted unless he approved them, and that now there's nobody checking those things. If someone has access to your stepbrother's account they might want to check those notifications from time to time.

Do they post from the deceased's FB profile to alert his followers?

In my friend's case I waited a few days for his family to say something about it. When they didn't, I posted to my friend's wall a short announcement that he had died and a link to a site with more information.

I know someone else who died unexpectedly and I just looked at his Facebook page. I see that someone's been through and tidied it up, it looks like, or set things more private than they used to be (we weren't friends). There are still photos of him there, which I bet is nice for friends who want to see them.

If possible, you should remove your stepbrother's birthday from his Facebook page. If you don't, every year Facebook is going to tell all his friends they should wish him a happy birthday.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:41 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

My husband died last year and I left everything in place for 6 months. After a time when nobody posted anything for a few months, I closed his accounts (I had his passwords). I never considered a memorial page.

A friend of mine has her late fiance's facebook still active because people are still posting to it. So I'd let the usage be your guide.

My advice would be to close the LinkedIn and Twitter accounts in a few months and leave the Facebook until it doesn't get used anymore. Also do not post from his account. I made this mistake when I changed the profile pic of my husband at the request of some of his mates. Others were offended or creeped out. So just leave it as is. You can't please everyone.

Good luck and I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by Youremyworld at 4:26 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older How much fuel did we use?   |   To Smudge or not to Smudge? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.