Getting Your Facebook Affairs in Order Journal Article uri icon



  • Legacy Contact is a Facebook feature that allows account holders to choose someone to manage their profile after they have died. This study evaluates the Legacy Contact setup process, and asks how users form and communicate expectations about what an active post-mortem manager's responsibilities would be. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with adult Facebook account holders in the US who either configured their own settings or were chosen for future delegation by someone else. We found that account holders chose the Facebook Friend they felt closest to, and that selection was often reciprocated. Both account holders and legacy contacts felt confident that they had communicated (or could communicate) well about the legacy contact's responsibilities, but their expectations did not align with the actual functionality of the Legacy Contact system. We argue that the misalignment of user expectations and system functionality indicates a failed setup process. Our findings suggest that post-mortem management systems require a setup process that is fundamentally different from the quick-clickthrough standards of everyday interaction design. The ramifications of a post-mortem manager's expectations not being met during a time of grief, points to the urgent need for a setup process that prompts thoughtfulness and deliberation, and forms accurate expectations for account holders and future post-mortem managers alike.

publication date

  • April 13, 2021

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • December 6, 2021 2:17 AM

Full Author List

  • Gach KZ; Brubaker JR

author count

  • 2

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 29


  • 5


  • CSCW1