Facebook to Create ‘Look Back’ Video for Family of Deceased Son [Video]

FacebookJohn Berlin made a moving plea to Facebook on behalf of his family in a YouTube video, asking Mark Zuckerberg to create a Look Back video of his deceased son. His son, Jesse Berlin, passed away in 2012 at the age of 22.

Everyone has recently been watching and sharing one minute videos, created by the social media website, which pick up and generate the most popular moments on a person’s profile.

John Berlin found out about the videos and, as he and his family cannot get access to Jesse’s social network page, he tried his best to contact Zuckerberg to ask for a video to be made.

The popular link-sharing website, Reddit, picked up the video clip and it instantly got a lot of support on that forum.  To prove that it wasn’t a hoax, John Berlin even posted his son’s obituary on Reddit.

This was followed up by a local radio station, Pix11, who also helped to put John Berlin in contact with the social media website.

After Berlin posted a video on YouTube and word got around the Internet, the social media website has decided to have a re-look at its policies with regard to  deceased members.

Below is the video that John Berlin posted on YouTube, “calling out to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.”  He said “All we want to do is see his movie. I know it’s a shot in the dark but I don’t care.”

A spokeswoman from the social network told the BBC that the experience has “reinforced to us that there’s more Facebook can do to help people celebrate and commemorate the lives of people they have lost,” adding that “We’ll have more to share in the coming weeks and months.”

John Berlin, on the other hand posted a status update recently to say that his YouTube plea had worked, and that he had been contacted by a spokesperson by telephone and that the video would be made for the family.  He added that the social media network said that they are going to look at just what they can do in future to better help families who have lost loved ones.

Now all the effort has been worth it and the company is saying it will create a Look Back video on John Berlin’s behalf, using only content that his deceased son, Jesse Berlin, had posted publicly on his profile.  It will apparently be available to the family shortly.

While the privacy policy is apparently important with regard to an individual’s information, the social media network is already offering a “memorializing” process for the profiles of deceased users.  This was apparently introduced in 2009 after one of the company’s engineers himself lost a loved one and felt that they should offer something suitable to give support.

The memorializing process allows family members to use the website’s help center to post links from newspapers and other sources confirming the news of a loved one’s death.  It is apparently done this way so that no one can try to maliciously shut an account and where the odd mistake with a profile is made, there is an appeal process in place.

Basically what the process does is to ensure that a user who has passed away will no longer appear in contextual messages or together with advertisements, and friends of that person will no longer get reminders of their birthday.

This process is being handled as sensitively as possible as, in the past, the social network has come under heavy criticism for showing prompts, asking users to talk to people who were no longer living.

While Facebook does not give access to a deceased person’s account over privacy concerns, it does however, make a person wonder what happens to the information contained in that profile.

The good news is, of course, that Facebook will now create the Look Back video of his deceased son for John Berlin, the grieving father.

By Anne Sewell


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