How to Turn a Facebook Page Into a Memorial

by Danielle Fernandez

Memorial pages on Facebook allow like-minded users to gather in a virtual space to pay condolences and share memories in the honor of a deceased individual -- and there are two ways to create one. If the person of honor passed away with an active Facebook Timeline, close friends and family can complete a contact form requesting that Facebook investigate and approve the profile for memorialization. Any user can also create a new Facebook group or page -- with customized privacy settings and invitations for others to join -- that can then be used as a point of remembrance.

Memorialization Request

When a loved one passes, you can complete the Memorialization Request form (link in Resources) to ask Facebook to convert the person's personal profile to a memorial page. Facebook will then conduct an investigation using the proof of passing -- you are invited to submit the URL of a published obituary or news article referencing the death -- and complete the conversion to a tribute page. According to the form's options, anyone on the user's Friends list can request this investigation, including immediate and extended family or those who are considered non-family -- like a friend, co-worker or classmate.

Account Conversion

Once an account is memorialized, Facebook will implement privacy settings so only confirmed friends of the deceased user can see the profile or locate it in search results. All of the user's sensitive information -- contact data and past status updates, for example -- are removed. Friends and family can then continue leaving posts on the profile's Timeline and the memorialized account is locked from outside view -- in other words, no user who is not listed as a friend can log into it, tag it or post new content.

Create a Page or Group

In lieu of memorializing a current page, you can also create a new Facebook group or page with the purpose of making it a tribute to a deceased person. These are effective not only for honoring an individual who does not have an active Facebook profile, but also in a situation where you want to invite other users who are not currently listed as friends of the person who has passed. If you choose to memorialize an individual with a page or group, your first step is determining which will work best for your needs.

Creating a Page

Facebook pages -- as well as information and posts published on the page -- are completely public to all Facebook users and are designed to offer a large group of people a centralized point of communication. New posts appear in the news feeds of those who have liked it and page admins can track ongoing activity. To create one, click on the "Pages" header in the side menu and then click the "+ Create Page" button. Follow the prompts to enter information about the deceased individual, then invite friends to like it so others are encouraged to engage in the memorial.

Creating a Group

Groups provide a virtual space for smaller groups of people to communicate about the deceased individual and allow for additional privacy settings that cannot be implemented with a page. Like pages, posts are visible to those who have joined the conversation, but members must first be approved or added by other members. Members can then participate in group chats and share content -- like photos and group documents. To create a group, click the "Groups" header on the left side of your Facebook page and then click "Create Group" and follow the on-screen prompts.

About the Author

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.

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