Facebook to stop reminding people of dead friends' birthdays

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FB – Facebook creates a new way to commemorate people who have died

Facebook has made this change based on feedback they received, and hope it will provide some assistance to grieving parents. A new section called "Tributes" will be available where friends and family will be able to post their messages about the person they lost. Legacy contacts will now be able to change additional settings, such as tags and who can view specific posts in the tributes section of a page. Facebook will "use AI to help keep the profile from showing up in places that might cause distress, like recommending that person be invited to events or sending a birthday reminder to their friends".

In the past, there have been instances where Facebook has applied the same AI algorithms to memorialised accounts, as it does to regular accounts. Sandberg didn't explain exactly how the new artificial intelligence features will work, but a Facebook spokesperson told NPR the company will look at a variety of signals that might indicate the person is deceased.

Facebook said that it will only allow friends and family members to request that an account be memorialised.

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Every memorialised account is managed by a legacy contact, who could be a close friend or relative of the deceased, who has been entrusted with managing the deceased person's Facebook account. They know the loss of a friend or family member can be devastating - and they want Facebook to be a place where people can support each other while honouring the memory of their loved ones.

Sandberg says that this means that legacy contacts can hide "posts that might be hard for friends and family to see if they're not ready" from these people specifically. Legacy contacts still can not read the person's private messages posted and received on Facebook.

Memorialised accounts will now have a separate "tributes" tab for people to leave condolences and memories, a move that would leave the deceased's timeline intact. The legacy contact assigned by Facebook will remain in complete control of this section. In such cases, the nominated legacy contact can write a pinned post for the users' profile, decide who can see and who can post tributes, change who can see posts that the user is tagged in, update the profile picture and cover photo and request the removal of the account.

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