Facebook Locks Heart-Broken Mum Out Of Dead Daughter's Account

05/03/2012 15:28 | Updated 22 May 2015
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A mum has branded Facebook heartless and inconsiderate after it stopped her from logging into her dead daughter's account.

Louise Palmer's only child Becky, 19, died from a brain tumour, and the heartbroken mum took comfort from logging on to her daughter's page and reading her old messages.

Four weeks ago, Louise discovered she was locked out of the account, and when she contacted Facebook she was told that by logging in she had invaded Becky's privacy, and that she could no longer do so.

Louise, 47, said: "I can't believe Facebook can be so heartless and inconsiderate. The loss of my only child has been heartbreaking. But at least in my darkest hours I could log in to her Facebook account and read her messages, remembering her as the vibrant girl she used to be."

Louise explained that Becky could not write or read more than a few sentences in the final days of her life, so she used to log in for her and read out messages from her friends, and update her daughter about what her pals were up to. She says she fails to see how "anyone can invade the ­privacy of a dead person."

Becky suffered a seizure on New Year's Day 2010 and doctors discovered she had a brain tumour. The teenager underwent surgery and chemotherapy, but within six months had lost her speech and was unable to write or read. She died in December 2010.

Louise, from Kingswinford, West Midlands, says she would be able to 'hear' Becky's voice through the old conversations on her Facebook page, and that having access to it had given her a lot of comfort since her death. She discovered the page had been 'memorialized' when she attempted to access it at the end of January this year.

Facebook told her: 'Unfortunately for privacy ­reasons, we cannot make changes to the profile or provide log-in ­information for the ­account.'

Louise told the Sunday Mirror: "I was angry as, although people can post on the wall, I can't remove any spam. It means her page looks like an uncared-for grave with weeds growing on it."

Friends and supports have now set up a Facebook group asking for the page to be reinstated. ­Louise says: "We just want Facebook to show some compassion."

A Facebook spokesperson told Parentdish: "When an account is memorialised then certain profile sections and features are hidden from view to protect the privacy of the deceased. For example, recent statuses are removed, groups the person has joined are hidden, and the person's privacy settings are changed to 'Only Friends' so that only his/her Friends can see the Profile.

"Facebook's policy is not to provide login information for an account to anyone but the account owner to protect their privacy. This means that when we receive a report that a user is deceased we memorialise the account, which restricts profile and search privacy to friends only, but leaves the profile up so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance.

"However, we do honour requests from close family members to deactivate the account, which removes the profile and associated information from the site."

What do you think?

Did you realise Facebook did this to deceased persons' accounts?


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