Facebook is steadfastly refusing to pull a number of ‘traumatising’ photographs of a murderer from his victims own profile, despite repeated requests to do so from her distressed family, after insisting that the profile had been ‘memorialised’.
Hollie Gazzard was murdered by ex-boyfriend Asher Maslin in February of last year but nine photographs of the pair together remained on Gazzrd’s page at the time of her death – whereupon the profile has been frozen.
Defending this stance a Facebook spokesperson said: “People have told us that they would like to leave a legacy on Facebook. We memorialise accounts to provide a place of remembrance and maintain the profile as it was when the person passed away. We understand in tragic cases such as this it may mean there are sometimes painful reminders, but memorialised accounts are designed to preserve the privacy of the deceased.”
Speaking out against the position however Gazzard’s father Nick said he was ‘distressed’ by constant reminders of the murder of his daughter. In an interview with the BBC he said: “We don’t want the account shut down because there are lots of memories of Hollie, and her friends like to go in and see the good times they had with her. Seeing these pictures is quite traumatising for everybody.”
Facebook will ‘memorialise’ a user’s account instead of permanently deleting it if requested to do so if that option has been chosen by the user and after being notified by a relative of their death. In such circumstances all content is preserved and no changes are permissible short of full deletion.