The widow of a man killed in a terrifying stabbing rampage in Taunton last month wants Facebook to change the way it handles the accounts of users who pass away.
Rosemary Heath started an online petition, saying she was permanently locked out of her husband’s account because she was not designated as his “legacy” contact.
George Heath was stabbed to death on May 10 by Arthur DaRosa, 28, of Taunton, while the two ate dinner at a Bertucci’s restaurant inside of the Silver City Galleria mall.
The former school teacher reportedly intervened when he saw DaRosa attack a pregnant waitress at the restaurant -- a move that authorities said saved the woman’s life, but cost him his own.
Heath often turned to her husband’s Facebook page to “remember funny, loving man that he was,” she wrote on her petition. But, because someone notified the social media site that George had died, it became a “memorial account” that she is permanently locked out of.
“Because George and I were not familiar with Facebook’s legacy option before he died, I am now grieving for my husband and fighting Facebook to grant me access to his account,” she writes.
“In cases where a legacy person isn’t named and a spouse/partner is listed in the profile, Facebook should allow for them to be the default legacy person and notify them if someone is attempting to memorialize the account.”
"Not to have that access to something that was so dear to me, that man was my life, he's everything to me," she told NECN. "So not to have that access is cruel. It's absolutely cruel. There's no other word for it. And I want it back"
“George would want his wife to have control of his page, it's who he was,” Clarie Pelletier of Swansea, Massachusetts, wrote on the petition, identifying herself as a friend of the family. “Beside that, this policy/procedure is poor, and needs to be fixed and revamped.”
The petition had over 2,100 signatures as of Friday afternoon.
Concerned about what will happen to your Facebook account after you die? You can read more about the site’s memorial policies here.