1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Chris Raymond

With Friends Like This...

By January 8, 2013

Follow me on:

Laptop with padlock

Many bright people have expressed many wonderful sentiments about the value of friendship over the years, but a fairly easy Facebook prank might cause some to express less-than-positive feelings about their "friends."

According to BuzzFeed, it's pretty simple for just about anyone to "murder" your Facebook account by reporting you as dead, which thereby locks you out of it. All it takes is completing a basic online form and including a link to an "obituary or news article." Unfortunately, the flaw in this system arises from the fact that more than one person can have the same name -- which means that every Tom Johnson, Dick Jones, and Harry Smith out there should feel concerned.

Hopefully, Facebook will improve how it verifies that the person reported as deceased is, in fact, the actual account holder. A few years ago, Twitter created "verified accounts" for celebrities and other notable figures so followers could discern between the real Barack Obama and a host of imitators, for example. Perhaps Facebook can adopt something similar on the backend to prevent this problem in the future.

How would you react if you discovered your Facebook account was deactivated because a "friend" reported you as dead? Please post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photo Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images

January 10, 2013 at 9:04 am
(1) Jacob Marley says:

I would think it amusing that someone would want me off fb that badly to report me dead. You just can’t take “life” so seriously.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.