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Getting Data Off of Facebook After a Death

If your loved one is among the nearly 3 billion Facebook users this is what you need to know to access and download data that might otherwise be lost.
Getting Data Off of Facebook After a Death
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Today, social media accounts are a receptacle for memories. People post pictures and videos, they share their thoughts and they organize special events. It’s only natural that if a loved one passes away you want to be able to gain access to accounts and secure their data.

Facebook is the most widely used social media platform in the world. As of early March 2022, there are 2.91 billion Facebook users. 

We’ve gone over how to get access to a loved one’s Apple account after their death, and in this post, you’ll learn what to do to get data off of Facebook after someone is deceased. It turns out getting data off of Facebook depends on the policy a loved one has picked before their death. 

Scenario #1 – 🚫 Delete After Death Was Selected 

Facebook gives users options for managing accounts in life and in death. Some people want to be the sole person with control and choose to have their Facebook account deleted after their death is reported. If a loved one selected this option, you don’t really have any way to save data. Choosing to have Facebook delete your account wipes out everything: posts, photos, videos, messages, comments and personal info.  

As soon as Facebook is informed about the death they will immediately delete the account. Loved ones need to be aware of that so they can try to save what they can by downloading shared images and making screenshots because that’s really the only possibility for saving anything. 

Scenario #2 – The Account is Memorialized

If a user doesn’t choose to have their Facebook account deleted when they’re deceased, the account can be memorialized at the request of a friend or family member. A memorialized account is basically frozen with all of the data and information visible to anyone who had access to it before. Friends and family members may be able to add comments and share memories depending on the account settings. 

Even if an account is memorialized you can’t log into it. The memorialized account will remain just as it was when the person passed unless the user appointed a legacy contact. 

Scenario #3 – A Facebook Legacy Contact Was Appointed

Facebook users can plan ahead by appointing a legacy contact. A legacy contact is basically the manager of a memorialized Facebook account. They can:

  • Accept friend requests
  • Make tribute posts
  • Change the cover photo
  • Change the profile picture
  • Decide what users can make tribute posts 
  • Delete tribute posts
  • Control who can see tagged photos
  • Remove tags of the deceased on the photos of others
  • Request that the deceased’s account be removed
  • Share information about memorial services
  • Write a final message for the deceased

Legacy contacts can also view all posts that were made to an account, even the ones that were set to “Only Me”. Another important capability is being able to download what was shared on Facebook. However, this feature has to be selected in advance. There are a number of things that a Facebook legacy contact can download, including:

  • Photos that were uploaded
  • Videos that were uploaded
  • Profile information
  • Contact information
  • Wall posts
  • Friends list
  • Event information

All of this will be accessible and downloadable even if the legacy contact couldn’t see it before. However, messages, security information and pokes won’t be accessible. The only way someone can access this information is by producing a document that expresses clear content to allow access. 

Managing social media accounts is one of the first things to do when a loved one dies. At Green Cremation Texas, we help relieve the stress by handling all the aspects of the cremation for the family. That way you can focus on all the other tasks that must be done while dealing with the loss of a loved one. If you’d like to know more about arranging eco-friendly cremation services in Texas our team is available seven days a week by phone, text or email.

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Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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