Managing Social Media Accounts After Death

Social media plays a central role in our lives today. But what happens once we pass away? Over the years there have been several unfortunate incidents regarding the social media profiles of the deceased such as the account being hacked and sending out spam, upsetting friends and relatives. In response, social media platforms now provide options for you to manage the profiles of deceased loved ones. This includes deactivation as well as ways to keep profiles viewable but inactive.

Facebook Profiles

With Facebook, you can request control of a loved one’s profile by filling out a special request form. Facebook requires verification that you are an immediate family member or executor for account removal or special requests. Facebook users can choose a legacy contact through their settings, which nominates someone to look after your account after you pass away.

If you are selected as the legacy contact before your loved one passes away or apply for control over their profile, you’ll be able to:

  • Request the removal of the account
  • Choose to ‘memorialise’ the account
  • Respond to new friend requests
  • Update the profile picture and cover photo
  • Manage tribute posts on the profile, which includes deciding who can post and who can see posts, deleting posts and removing tags.

When you choose the ‘memorialise’ option, you and other Facebook friends of your loved ones’ can continue to share memories on their profile page depending on the privacy settings. The word ‘remembering’ will appear next to the person’s name to indicate that they’ve passed away. Memorialised profiles can’t be logged into and won’t appear in any public search results or the ‘people you may know’ function.


Instagram also provides options to either remove a deceased person’s account or memorialise it. To request either, you’ll need to verify your identity and provide proof of death, such as a copy of the death certificate, an obituary or news article. If you choose to memorialise your loved one’s account, Instagram will control the way that content can be shared to avoid upsetting friends or family. The account will also be secured, preventing anyone from accessing it.


Twitter will deactivate accounts in the event of a death. To make this request, you’ll need to contact their team by clicking the request the deactivation of a deceased user’s account in their Help Centre. Unfortunately, there is no option to lock down or memorialise accounts on Twitter. This means if you want to leave your account active after you pass away, it’s at risk of being hacked. In some special cases, the site may remove certain imagery by request.

Other Social Media Accounts

Other platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube share a similar process to Twitter. You can request to close or deactivate an account by filling out an online form providing information about the deceased and verifying your identity.

Funeral Services in Perth

For more information or advice or to make funeral arrangements, please contact the team at Hetherington Funerals on (08) 9459 2846, submit an enquiry on our contact page or look at our funeral services here.