If a Facebook user dies, what happens to their Facebook account? Is it deleted after a certain period? Should their friends or relatives inform Facebook that they are dead?
You can report this to Facebook requesting that they remove the account or memorialize the account.
From Facebook FAQ:
How do I report a deceased user or an account that needs to be memorialized and deactivated or deleted?
Memorializing the account:
Please report this information here so that we can memorialize this person’s account. Memorializing the account restricts profile access to confirmed friends only. Please note that in order to protect the privacy of the deceased user, we cannot provide login information for the account to anyone. We do honor requests from close family members to close the account completely.
Removing the account:
Immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account. This will completely remove the account from Facebook so that no one can view it. We will not restore the account or provide information on its content unless required by law. If you are requesting a removal and are not an immediate family member of the deceased, your request will not be processed, but the account will be memorialized.
To make a request to memorialize or remove a profile, please do so here. If you have a special request regarding a deceased user's account, please use this form. Please note that this form is only to be used for accounts that have already been memorialized.
The account can be memorialised;
When an account is memorialized, we also set privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. We try to protect the deceased's privacy by removing sensitive information such as contact information and status updates. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into it in the future, while still enabling friends and family to leave posts on the profile Wall in remembrance.
When my cousin died, the account was memorialized, meaning that the Wall is left open for comments. Facebook has a page about the process.
When a user passes away, we memorialize their account to protect their privacy. Memorializing an account sets the account privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. The Wall remains, so friends and family can leave posts in remembrance. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into the account.
As of September 22, 2015
If you passed away you have 2 options, and actually you can tell it to Facebook in advance by going to the Facebook settings then security
- request for memorialization upon death
- request for account deletion upon death
Facebook has a form for deceased person namely
Special Request for Deceased Person's Account, see the form here.
Legacy contact allows them to
Write a pinned post for your profile (ex: to share a final message on your behalf or provide information about a memorial service)
Respond to new friend requests (ex: old friends or family members who weren't yet on Facebook)
Update your profile picture and cover photo
Your legacy contact can't:
Log into your account
Remove or change past posts, photos and other things shared on your Timeline
Read messages you've sent to other friends
Remove any of your friends
Facebook allows you memorialise or deactivate the Facebook account. Taking action in relation to the deceased person's Facebook account as quickly as possible is highly recommended. You can close your account by using a service like enclosure.com.au (which closes all of the person's social networking accounts) or by going straight to Facebook.