Facebook Now Allows Users to Pick an Account Heir

A new feature allows users to designate a friend or family member to become the caretaker of your account should you die.

We've talked before in this space about the messy legal situation that surrounds the social media profiles and digital content of the recently deceased. As quickly as personalized digital content sprang into being, the law was always going to be a few steps behind. As Brittny Mejia writes in the LA Times, Facebook has made it easier to get your ducks in a row should tragedy befall you:


"The social networking site Thursday introduced a feature in the U.S. that allows people to essentially will their accounts to a family member or friend who can manage their account when they die. Once an account is memorialized, the "legacy contact" can write a post on behalf of the deceased, respond to new friend requests and update the profile picture and cover photo. If a user chooses, they can also give the legacy contact permission to archive Facebook posts and photos. The legacy contact will not be able to log in as the person who died or see that person's private messages."

The Facebook product team explained how they felt they could provide more support to those suffering from loss. As Facebook is the primary means of communication between many people and their extended social networks, it makes sense to allow a loved one access in order to relay information. This method of designating an heir also allows Facebook to maintain security; no need to send someone your password for just-in-case situations.

"Facebook users can access the feature by going to "settings," choosing "security," and selecting "legacy contact" at the bottom of the page. Once a person is picked, users have the option to send a message to let that person know they've been chosen, but they aren't required to do that."

Read more at LA Times.

Photo credit: Gil C / Shutterstock

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less