Facebook Provides “Legacy Contact” Feature

April 28, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. deceased /dɪˈsist/ (adj.) – referring to something or someone who is dead
Example: The deceased man was known to be very kind.

2. confirmation /ˌkɒn fərˈmeɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the act of making sure something is correct or true
Example: The website requires the user’s confirmation before changing the settings.

3. memorial /məˈmɔr i əl / (n.) – an item to serve as reminder of someone or something that died
Example: They built a statue to serve as his memorial.

4. funeral /ˈfyu nər əl/ (n.) – ceremonial rites to honor the dead
Example: The residents of the city attended the late mayor’s funeral.

5. acknowledge /ækˈnɒl ɪdʒ/ (v.) – to recognize something to be real or true
Example: I acknowledge that I made a mistake.


Read the text below.
Facebook has added a new feature that gives a relative or a friend access to a deceased user’s account.

The new feature will allow the user to assign another Facebook user to be a “Legacy Contact” in the case of the user’s death. The Legacy Contact will have access to the user’s Facebook account upon confirmation of the user’s death. Some of the Legacy Contact’s privileges include closing the deceased user’s account, approving friend requests, and archiving uploaded photos. The Legacy Contact may also leave the account as it is.

Currently, this feature is only available in the US. Previously, when a user passed away, Facebook would freeze the user’s account and turn it into a memorial page. Friends and relatives could view the page, but they were not allowed to edit it. Facebook also did not allow the posting of funeral details on the deceased user’s page.  

Facebook received many requests from grieving family members to give them access to the deceased users’ memorial accounts. Through conversations with the family members, Facebook realized that they could do more for their users. Thus, the Legacy Contact feature was created.

Facebook is still improving this feature, as it can cause various issues. For instance, friends and family members may be confused if the Legacy Contact posts a final status or accepts a friend request. Another concern is that family members may have difficulty in contacting the Legacy Contact.

Facebook hopes this new feature will help its users cope when facing bereavement. It is also a way for the company to show their respect by acknowledging the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you use Facebook’s Legacy Contact? Why or why not?
·         Do you think Facebook’s new feature is a good idea? Kindly explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you use social media when comforting a friend? Why or why not?
·         How can someone show his/her support for a grieving friend? 

April 28, 2015