When a user passes away on Facebook, the social network updates his or her existing page and turns it into a memorial profile. It seems like a pretty efficient system, except for when it’s abused–as people found out in the case of a user named Brett Millett.
It was a typical day when Millett logged onto Facebook, but instead of the homepage, he was greeted with a notification that his page had already been memorialized.
In a post entitled “Someone memorialized my Facebook profile but I’m still alive!”, Millett posted about his situation in StackExchange.
Apparently, it’s pretty easy to memorialize someone’s Facebook profile. I am greeted with the following message after entering my valid and correct username and password:
“Account Inaccessible This account is in a special memorial state. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the Help Center for further information.”
Millett muses that this could be a prank by some of his mischievous buddies, or a hacker who probably had too much time on his hands.
Apparently, you need my date of birth (which friends or friends with hacked accounts have access to) and a fake obituary (because no one atFacebook really reads them apparently).
– Brett Millett
Facebook has since responded to the issue and said that Millett’s account has already been restored. A spokesperson explained that although checks and measures are in place to make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen, human error allowed cases like Millett’s to slip through the cracks.