Facebook Nags You To Communicate With The Dead

If you’ve logged in to Facebook lately, you may have noticed the site’s suggestions on the right-hand side telling you to write on the wall of someone you haven’t communicated with in a while. This is merely annoying for most of us, but sort of a punch in the gut when the person you’re being told to get back in touch with is dead.

Margo wrote to us about her own experience:

Facebook’s new “stay connected” sidebar will show you ANYONE in your friend list. Including dead people. I’ve been asked twice this week to improve the Facebook existence of someone who passed away this summer, despite emailing them several times to alert them of this person’s untimely demise.

You can set a deceased Facebook user’s page to memorial mode, but this requires action on the part of someone close to that person. Not all dead Facebook users’ pages are memorialized, and it’s not clear that being in memorial mode keeps the late Facebook user’s name out of your “Reconnect” suggestions. Putting a dead person’s profile in memorial mode does remove them from all suggestions.

Of course, the “reconnect” feature doesn’t just encourage us to interact with the dead—it also suggests that we stay in touch with people we might be in contact with every day. Or who we don’t want to be in contact with at all.

Have you had any incredibly awkward “Reconnect” suggestions? Does anyone actually like this feature?

Memories of Friends Departed Endure on Facebook [Facebook Blog]
Contact form: Deceased [Facebook]

Facebook Memorializes Dead With New Reconnect Feature [ChannelWeb]