Parents of dead children slam Facebook for refusing access to their accounts: 'The lack of compassion has been awful'
'We do not allow someone to log into another person's account, even after they have died, in order to protect the security and privacy of the deceased person's information', responded a Facebook spokeswoman
Devastated and grieving parents have slammed social media giant Facebook for its "lack of compassion" as the networking site has denied them access to their dead children's accounts and handles after they passed away.
According to a report by Daily Mail, Lisa Bowie lost her 18-year-old son Mitchell in 2016. She was unable to access his account after his death and said, "The lack of compassion from Facebook has been awful." During an inquest into Mitchell's death, it was revealed that he had been speaking to a girl online and his family believed that his Facebook girlfriend was a person using a fake account. Before he died, the girlfriend named "Emily" called Mitchell constantly.
Another parent, 51-year-old Lorin LaFave, shared that it was "heartbreaking" as she was not able to access her teenage son's profile after he passed away in 2014. Her son Breck Bednar, was only 14 when he died after being raped and murdered by 18-year-old Lewis Daynes who groomed the child on an online gaming platform.
In 2016, LaFave shared that her son's killer was taunting the family from the prison after he had reportedly posted in two Google blogs blaming them for Breck's death. She shared with the 5Star show titled 'When Kids Kill' that she was hurt by "open letters" which questioned her grief over her child's death and also accused her of being a terrible mother. It is unknown how Daynes had shared the letters online as prisoners have been banned from using mobile phones and social media.
LaFave shared, "I know it is him as there is information only he and Breck would know." She also explained how she had pleaded and begged Facebook to give her access to her son's account after he died in Redcar in 2016. LaFave revealed that he would often activate and deactivate his Facebook account because of the difficult relationship he had.
Another parent, 51-year-old Angie Hart lost her 15-year-old daughter Katie Gammon in 2015 after a lifelong struggle with cystic fibrosis. Before she died, Katie gave her mother her Facebook password and Hart shared how she spent many hours going through her messages while she was grieving. However, a month after her daughter's death, she was blocked from the account.
Hart shared, "Facebook has no idea how devastating it is to be blocked and ignored when you've lost a child. It was her dying wish we continue to use her Facebook." A father, Ian Russell, who lost his daughter in 2017 also slammed Facebook. He told The Sun, "She died without a will, she was 14 and everything else quite naturally returns to us as her parents. So should her data."
A spokeswoman for Facebook shared with FEMAIL, "We do not allow someone to log into another person's account, even after they have died, in order to protect the security and privacy of the deceased person's information. We understand there could be a valid legal reason to access the account and in those instances, we work closely with the relevant authorities."