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Facebook memorials

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A notable ancillary effect of social networking websites, particularly Facebook, is the ability for participants to mourn publicly for a deceased individual. On Facebook, students often leave messages of sadness, grief, or hope on the individual's page, transforming it into a sort of public book of condolences. This particular phenomenon has been documented at a number of schools. [1] [2] Previously, Facebook had stated that its official policy on the matter was to remove the profile of the deceased one month after he or she has died, preventing the profile from being used for communal mourning, citing privacy concerns. Due to user response, Facebook amended its policy. Its new policy is to place deceased members' profiles in a "memorialisation state".

Additional usage of Facebook as a tool of remembrance is expressed in group memberships on the site. Now that groups are community-wide and available among all networks, many users create Facebook groups to remember not only a deceased friend or individual, but also as a source of support in response to a great tragedy such as 9/11 or the Virginia Tech massacre in April, 2007.

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