Facebook suggests messaging dead friends

Oct. 26, 2009 at 3:58 PM

LONDON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Facebook users in Britain said the Web site's latest feature, which encourages people to contact old friends, is bringing up deceased people as suggestions.

The new feature, which went live during the weekend, appears in the form of an automatically generated box suggesting the user logged in "reconnect" with a specific friend they have not contacted in a while. Dozens of users reported the box was suggesting deceased friends only hours after the feature was launched, Sky News reported Monday.

A 27-year-old Facebook user who gave her name as Emma said she was distressed to be confronted with a photo of a deceased friend when she logged into the social networking site.

"Like many of his friends I haven't deleted his profile as that would feel weird. I'm sure thousands of Facebook users are in the same position," she said. "When someone dies there doesn't seem to be much you can do about their profile … There should be a way of recognizing this on their profile or Facebook should remove the feature altogether to avoid causing offense."

More than 900,000 Facebook users have joined a group calling for the Web site to do away with the new feature.

A Facebook spokesman said the company is investigating the complaints.

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