Facebook says it will use AI to stop notifications about dead friends

Facebook said it will use AI to stop sending notificiations such as birthday reminders on behalf of the deceased before an account has been memorialized. Photo: Facebook.

Facebook says it will use artificial intelligence to help find profiles of people who have died, so their friends and family members won't get, for instance, painful reminders about their birthday.

The social network said Tuesday that it is also adding a "tributes" section to accounts that have been memorialized, that is, designated as belonging to someone who has died. Friends and family members will be able to write posts and share photos in this section to remember their loved one.

Facebook is also tightening its rules around who can memorialize an account. Until now, anyone could do this by sending the company proof that someone had died, such an obituary. Now, it will have to be a friend or family member.

Facebook is also adding new controls for legacy contacts - people who have been entrusted to care of a Facebook account when a person is deceased. Legacy contacts can now moderate posts shared to the new tributes section, remove tags, and edit who can post and see posts. They have also updated their policies to let parents who have lost children under 18 to request to become their legacy contact.