12:56 28 October 2009
The resoundingly popular social networking site, Facebook, has stated that it can now give friends and family of the recently departed the option to view a virtual memorial profile of loved ones. They will allow their friends to continue "contacting" them after they have passed.
Bosses at the social networking giant have introduced a new 'memorialise' option for relatives to preserve the profiles of people who have died.
The change has apparently come following some cases of members receiving updates about dead friends.
If a user is reported as deceased, Facebook will remove sensitive information such as status updates and contacts.
However to avoid pranks and inaccuracies, as experienced on Wikipedia in recent years, proof must be sent, such as an obituary or news article.
Max Kelly, head of security at the firm, wrote in the official Facebook blog: "When someone leaves us, they don't leave our memories or our social network.
"To reflect that reality, we created the idea of 'memorialised' profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who've passed."
Memorialised accounts will have new privacy settings so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in a search.
Profile information that would be inappropriate in the circumstances, such as their last status updates and contact information, will be removed but the 'wall' remains active as a memorial.
"We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them," Kelly added, "which is why it's important when someone passes away that their friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialised."
In related news, it has been reported that the world's first sance on Twitter 'Tweance' is to be held. As part of the publicity stunt for a London fancy dress shop in the run up to Halloween, psychic Jane Wallace will attempt to "reach" deceased stars Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett.
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