Taunton Widow Takes On Facebook Again
Over a year after losing her husband as a result of the violent stabbing rampage at the Bertucci's in Taunton, Rosemary Heath is still trying to get Facebook to change their policy and give her access to his page. Fun 107 reported on this last June when access was originally denied.
In case you didn't know, George Heath was a beloved teacher at Greater New Bedford Voc Tech who was killed while saving the life of their waitress that night in May of 2016.
On Change.org, Mrs. Heath writes, "In my time of mourning, I often turned to his Facebook page to remember the funny, loving man that he was." She continued, "I knew I would want to use his page to continue to celebrate his life. But because George and I were not familiar with Facebook’s legacy option before he died, I am now grieving for my husband and fighting Facebook to grant me access to his account."
Facebook has a hidden option in their settings for legacy contacts, someone you choose to monitor your account once it is memorialized. Mr. Heath's page was memorialized without the consent of his family - a policy Rosemary is trying to get them to change. Even if you have a legacy contact set up, they still don't have full access to your page (they can only make a pinned post, and change your profile picture.)
It seems as though Facebook has been automatically memorializing the pages of users who die in high-profile or newsworthy events (such as the Taunton rampage, Orlando night club shooting and more recently the Route 91 tragedy in Las Vegas.
Rosemary told Fun 107, "it's important that people know that anyone can shut down a page. All they need is a news story, or obituary. I had his username and password. We logged in to each others accounts all the time. Someone did this to me."
Since the petition was posted online Mrs. Heath has received over 10,000 signatures on it. She is hoping to advance this further up the management chain at Facebook by getting more signatures on it.
If you would like to add your name, just click here.
If you would like to check your legacy settings, Facebook suggests you can by clicking Settings, Manage account and Legacy Contact. There is also an option to have your page be permanently deactivated if that is what you wish.