Family members fight to have dad’s Facebook profile reinstated as memorial

Family members fight to have dad’s Facebook profile reinstated as memorial

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A BRISBANE man’s teenage children are “devastated” that his profile has been deleted without notice after his unexpected death.

Now, the family is fighting to have the account reinstated as a memorial.

Daniel Cook, a 34-year-old father-of-six, was killed instantly on March 14 when he accidentally rode his motorbike into a light post on the way home.

After the monumental shock of his unexpected death, members of his family were rocked again when they discovered that his Facebook page had been removed without their knowledge.

Mr Cook’s former partner Fiona Wrigley said their two children — Abby, 17, and Curtis, 14 — were devastated to find the page had been deactivated a few weeks after his death.

Mrs Wrigley’s multiple requests to Facebook to reinstate the page were declined, and now she has launched a change.org petition to pressure the social media giant to change its mind.

“Despite the desperate requests of his grieving children and partner of 10 years, Facebook are refusing to restore Daniel’s profile,” Mrs Wrigley wrote on the petition.

“Facebook promote themselves as a platform committed to fostering connections and relationships between people — as a place to share thoughts and photos with loved ones. They have a responsibility to uphold this social commitment.

“But by refusing to reinstate Daniel’s Facebook page they are doing the complete opposite — driving a wedge between Daniel’s heartbroken children and the visual memory of their beloved father.

“Facebook has insensitively deleted a much-loved person’s online history, burdening his family with the loss of precious memories for years to come.”

The late Daniel Cook with his youngest child Harlan, 2.
The late Daniel Cook with his youngest child Harlan, 2.

Source: Supplied

Mrs Wrigley told news.com.au that Facebook had become “a bit like a journal” and it was a comforting way for his children to keep his memory alive.

“It would have been lovely when they are older to see his photos and the posts he wrote about them. They could go on there and look at his profile and keep in touch with him,” she said.

The loss of the page was particularly difficult for his teenage children.

“The older two were devastated. Abby, our daughter, burst into tears when she found out,” Mrs Wrigley said. “They were heartbroken. They had already lost their dad, and now this cuts a link to their dad.

“I just want to get (the page) back. We didn’t have a chance to get all his photos off before it was taken down.”

Facebook has confirmed that a “close ” provided evidence of Mr Cook’s death and asked for the profile to be deleted.

Mrs Wrigley does not know who this family member was and she said their actions were contrary to the wishes of Mr Cook’s current partner, Morgan St John, and children, who support her campaign.

Mrs Wrigley said there should be a way for family members to review these decisions.

“Facebook have entrenched themselves into our lives and personal relationships. They need to have an appeals process whereby immediate families can have it reinstated,” she said.

Daniel Cook’s six children: (back) Curtis, 14, Abby, 17, Harlan, 2, (front) Hamish, 4, Gr
Daniel Cook’s six children: (back) Curtis, 14, Abby, 17, Harlan, 2, (front) Hamish, 4, Grace, 6, and Saxon, 4.

Source: Supplied

Facebook stands by its decision to remove the profile.

“Facebook, and all online providers, have the difficult task of responding appropriately to information requests from grieving families while protecting users’ privacy and complying with a myriad of state and federal laws,” a spokeswoman said.

“In dealing with each case, Facebook strives to achieve this balance as respectfully and compassionately as possible.

“As part of that effort, Facebook developed a memorialisation process to ensure family and friends have continued access to the profile of their loved ones, including access to photos, videos, and wall posts. This process creates a special place where the departed’s friends and family can continue to stay connected and share information.

“Our standard procedure when we receive a report that a user is deceased is to memorialise the account, which restricts profile and search privacy to friends only, but leaves the profile up so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance. In order to memorialise an account, the reporting person must provide evidence of death, such as an obituary or news article, as part of the reporting form.

“Also, we do honour requests from close family members to delete the account, which is what we did in this specific case.”

Mrs Wrigley said Mr Cook was a “lovely” man and an involved father.

“He was always the life of the party. He was one of those people: Always full of life,” she said.

You can read more about Facebook’s policies on deleting accounts here and you can sign Mrs Wrigley’s change.org petition here.

Daniel Cook died unexpectedly in March and his children are “devastated” that his Faceboo
Daniel Cook died unexpectedly in March and his children are “devastated” that his Facebook page has been deleted.

Source: Supplied

A BRISBANE man’s teenage children are “devastated” that his Facebook profile has been deleted without notice after his unexpected death.

Now, the family is fighting to have the account reinstated as a memorial.

Daniel Cook, a 34-year-old father-of-six, was killed instantly on March 14 when he accidentally rode his motorbike into a light post on the way home.

After the monumental shock of his unexpected death, members of his family were rocked again when they discovered that his Facebook page had been removed without their knowledge.

Mr Cook’s former partner Fiona Wrigley said their two children — Abby, 17, and Curtis, 14 — were devastated to find the page had been deactivated a few weeks after his death.

Mrs Wrigley’s multiple requests to Facebook to reinstate the page were declined, and now she has launched a change.org petition to pressure the social media giant to change its mind.

“Despite the desperate requests of his grieving children and partner of 10 years, Facebook are refusing to restore Daniel’s profile,” Mrs Wrigley wrote on the petition.

“Facebook promote themselves as a platform committed to fostering connections and relationships between people — as a place to share thoughts and photos with loved ones. They have a responsibility to uphold this social commitment.

“But by refusing to reinstate Daniel’s Facebook page they are doing the complete opposite — driving a wedge between Daniel’s heartbroken children and the visual memory of their beloved father.

“Facebook has insensitively deleted a much-loved person’s online history, burdening his family with the loss of precious memories for years to come.”

The late Daniel Cook with his youngest child Harlan, 2.
The late Daniel Cook with his youngest child Harlan, 2.

Source: Supplied

Mrs Wrigley told news.com.au that Facebook had become “a bit like a journal” and it was a comforting way for his children to keep his memory alive.

“It would have been lovely when they are older to see his photos and the posts he wrote about them. They could go on there and look at his profile and keep in touch with him,” she said.

The loss of the page was particularly difficult for his teenage children.

“The older two were devastated. Abby, our daughter, burst into tears when she found out,” Mrs Wrigley said. “They were heartbroken. They had already lost their dad, and now this cuts a link to their dad.

“I just want to get (the page) back. We didn’t have a chance to get all his photos off before it was taken down.”

Facebook has confirmed that a “close family member” provided evidence of Mr Cook’s death and asked for the profile to be deleted.

Mrs Wrigley does not know who this family member was and she said their actions were contrary to the wishes of Mr Cook’s current partner, Morgan St John, and children, who support her campaign.

Mrs Wrigley said there should be a way for family members to review these decisions.

“Facebook have entrenched themselves into our lives and personal relationships. They need to have an appeals process whereby immediate families can have it reinstated,” she said.

Daniel Cook’s six children: (back) Curtis, 14, Abby, 17, Harlan, 2, (front) Hamish, 4, Gr
Daniel Cook’s six children: (back) Curtis, 14, Abby, 17, Harlan, 2, (front) Hamish, 4, Grace, 6, and Saxon, 4.

Source: Supplied

Facebook stands by its decision to remove the profile.

“Facebook, and all online providers, have the difficult task of responding appropriately to information requests from grieving families while protecting users’ privacy and complying with a myriad of state and federal laws,” a spokeswoman said.

“In dealing with each case, Facebook strives to achieve this balance as respectfully and compassionately as possible.

“As part of that effort, Facebook developed a memorialisation process to ensure family and friends have continued access to the profile of their loved ones, including access to photos, videos, and wall posts. This process creates a special place where the departed’s friends and family can continue to stay connected and share information.

“Our standard procedure when we receive a report that a user is deceased is to memorialise the account, which restricts profile and search privacy to friends only, but leaves the profile up so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance. In order to memorialise an account, the reporting person must provide evidence of death, such as an obituary or news article, as part of the reporting form.

“Also, we do honour requests from close family members to delete the account, which is what we did in this specific case.”

Mrs Wrigley said Mr Cook was a “lovely” man and an involved father.

“He was always the life of the party. He was one of those people: Always full of life,” she said.

You can read more about Facebook’s policies on deleting accounts here and you can sign Mrs Wrigley’s change.org petition here.


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