Facebook is trying to stop one of the worst kinds of notifications.
Facebook is trying to stop one of the worst kinds of notifications.

Image: carl court / Getty Images

Facebook is trying to put a stop to its most painful notifications.

The company is making several changes to how it deals with accounts that have been memorialized, including one that will attempt to put a stop to birthday reminders and event notifications for friends who have died.

Facebook has long been criticized for spammy notifications. But these can become much more than just a nuisance when one of your friends has died. With the newly announced changes, Facebook will try to prevent accounts that have been memorialized from showing up in notifications.

“Once an account is memorialized, we use AI to help keep the profile from showing up in places that might cause distress, like recommending that person be invited to events or sending a birthday reminder to their friends. We’re working to get better and faster at this,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a statement

It may sound like a rather obvious change (it is), but it’s one that could make things less painful for those who are grieving. 

Facebook's new

Facebook’s new “tributes” section for memorialized accounts.

Additionally, the company is expanding the “tributes” section that’s available to profiles that have been memorialized. The tributes section will serve as a dedicated space for friends and relatives to leave messages on a loved one’s profile “while preserving the original timeline of their loved one,” according to Sandberg.

Facebook is also giving more control to legacy contacts — the individuals who are responsible for looking after a person’s Facebook account after it’s been memorialized. Legacy contacts will now be able to change additional settings, such as tags and who can view specific posts in the tributes section of a page.

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