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Facebook Removes Memorial Page Of Brazilian Journalist After Legal Actions Brought By Her Mother
April 25, 2013
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Facebook has removed the profile of a 24-year-old journalist who passed away last year, after her mother brought legal actions against the company and a judge ordered them to pull her page down.

Here's what happened: in May last year, Juliana Ribeiro Campos, a 24-year-old press officer in Campo Grande, Brazil, passed away.

After her death, Campos' Facebook profile remained online, and her friends began posting memorial messages, songs, and photos.

Campos' mother Dolores Pereira Coutinho was upset that her daughter's profile was still online - she found the messages and memorials posted by Juliana's friends "extremely distressing."

Coutinho repeatedly asked Facebook to delete her daughter's profile, but for months, she only received automated replies.

Eventually Facebook did make a change: they withdrew public access to the profile, making it accessible only to Campos' "friends" on the social network. In essence, they turned her public profile into a private "memorial wall."

But Coutinho wanted the profile deleted entirely.

campos-facebook-wall.jpg"This 'wailing wall' just makes me suffer so much," she told the BBC.

"On Christmas Eve many of her 200 friends posted pictures they had taken with her and recalled their memories. She was very charismatic, very popular. I cried for days," she said.

She continued pressuring Facebook to pull down the profile, and late last year, she decided to take legal action, filing a suit in Brazil to get the page pulled down.

Judge Vania de Paula Arantes ruled on March 19, and again on April 10, that Juliana's profile should be deleted immediately. Another ruling was issued this week warning Facebook that it had 48 hours to remove the profile. On Wednesday night, they did so.

In his ruling, Judge Arantes wrote that turning the girl's profile into a "memorial wall" went against "the right of personal dignity and inflicted great suffering on the mother, due to the premature death of her only child."

According to Facebook guidelines, a verified family member has the right to remove a deceased user's timeline and all content associated with it.

Back in 2009, the company introduced the idea of "memorialized" profiles in a Facebook blog post. They do specify in the post that a friend or family member must make a request in order for the company to convert a profile into a memorial.

There are a lot of memorial profiles on Facebook - according to estimates, about 30 million people with Facebook accounts have outlived them, and by the end of 2012, 3 million pages had become memorials for their owners.

And according to Nathan Lustig, co-founder of Entrustet, a company that allows people to decide what they will do with their digital assets after death, an estimated 2.89 million Facebook users died in 2012 alone.

Via BBC

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