February 28, 2009

Should your spouse have your passwords?

wedding ringsWhen I saw this Facebook status:
XXX loves her husband dearly and remembers her wedding vow to LOVE and OBEY! Oh, and XXX (her husband) is ALWAYS right.
I immediately remembered the time in the newsroom when a reporter did not log off and his credit line was changed to Journal bonehead reporter. It made the newspaper because the friend assumed the reporter would catch and what copy editor looks at what is always the same.

When I later saw this status:
XXX just changed her Facebook password so her husband can't change her status. Uggh.
I remembered I wanted to ask if you give your spouse all your passwords to all of your online homes. It's not that I'm hiding anything. I just join a lot of things. Sometimes I hang around; sometimes I don't.

Not too long ago, I was showing my husband one of the sites I use when he asked if I had all my sites and passwords written down. He says he just wants to make sure he can clean up after me in case I die.

At least, we are Facebook friends so he'll be able to take of that page since Facebook changes policy on deceased users accounts

Kristen Nicole on All Facebook shared this tale:

Late last week the Consumerist wrote an article highlighting a woman who had trouble convincing Facebook to remove the profile of her deceased brother. William Bemister, the brother of Stephanie Bermister, died suddenly last November. Stephanie's case in particular brings up several important issues regarding Facebook, it's policy towards deceased users, and the way in which it deals with family members of the deceased.

Per Facebook's policy, his profile was memorialized, a process by which certain private information is removed and the page is only accessible to confirmed friends through search.
However, his sister was not a friend so she couldn't get the profile completely down even after sending in a request and copy of the death certificate.

Nicole asks:
Should Facebook have the right to decide what to do with a deceased member's account despite direct and confirmed contact with a relative?
Facebook removed William's account all together, and Nicole says Facebook responded to Nicole that it will honor such requests from family members.

Nicole wants to know how Facebook knows someone is dead; I want to know what does Facebook do if some family members want the profile up and some want it gone.

Meanwhile, Nicole suggests you

  • make sure you're friends with your closest family members that also have Facebook accounts.
  • have a plan that outlines instructions to family members and loved ones in regard to what should be done with accounts.
What are you going to do?

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