Back in the day, we used to mess with each other via poking and animated gifs on walls. However, now it's a thing to report your friend as dead and get them locked out of their account until Facebook and get around to letting them back in. Hilarious!!!11
To get someone off Facebook, all you have to do is pretend you're a family member, fill out a simple form in the help section, and linking to an obit of someone with the same name — or a name that's close enough. Yes, folks over at Buzzfeed were able to get someone's account locked by using the obituary of a person with a similar name.
Why is it so easy to fake someone else's death? A Facebook spokeperson said:
We try to take all necessary precautions when processing user requests and provide an appeals process for any possible mistake we may make." It doesn't explain why there's no email confirmation or why an obituary for someone 50 years older than the alleged deceased was accepted as valid proof of his death.
A few commenters on the Buzzfeed piece share stories of family members and good friends dying and people other than the deceased's family requesting to memorialize their pages. This causes stress to the families of the deceased because when you memorialize a page, apparently all of your quotes, descriptions, and other key info are removed.
One commenter writers:
This happened to one of my good friends who was tragically killed in a car accident a day after getting engaged to her bf of 8 years. Someone (not family) got the page memorialized which removed all of her quotes and her description of herself and her life that she had put on there herself. Her brother, bf, and parents wanted to keep her page alive as a place where friends and family could continue to post memories and messages to her and pictures and see her happy life in her own words. I'm sure it was done by someone with the best intentions, but it still robbed a lot of people of that chance to keep that part of her alive. Her page is gone now (she's been gone for 4 years now) and they ended up making a fb group so pictures and messages can still be put up, but it's not quite the same. They need to take another look at their process, not only because of the pranking, but because it robs real people of the chance to keep some memories alive.
It'll probably take the prank happening to a few key Facebook employees before anything changes. But I hope that doesn't happen. So, basically: BLARG.