Facebook page can be a memorial

A dear friend has recently passed away. Those of us who were active on his Facebook friends' list are wondering what will now happen to his account. It is still active and filled with our remembrances, which we find to be a comfort. Will Facebook erase his account? Will it stay open forever? Some of us were wondering.

­— Milly B., Talent

We at Since You Asked are sorry to hear of your loss, Milly. Good friends are hard to find, and harder to lose.

We did some digging online and our research shows his/her account will remain on Facebook unless someone knows your friend's password and terminates it. Or if a family member petitions Facebook to remove the account.

The account can be preserved in your friend's memory. To have a profile memorialized, it must be reported. Here's the link: www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=deceased.

When a Facebook profile is officially memorialized, certain key aspects are changed. Basic information — contact information, status updates, etc. — are removed. In addition, the individual's profile is closed except to those with whom he/she had "friended." The page cannot be found through search results and no new friend requests are accepted. However, their "wall" remains available for friends and family to leave messages or just share memories of earlier days.

After some families voiced their upset at finding they couldn't simply remove the deceased's profile, Facebook has stated that while it will not give out login information for the deceased's account, it will remove their profile per the request of family members.

We vote for leaving the profile and memorializing the account.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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