Murder victim’s Facebook memorial saved from killer’s input

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There is some news to report following the story about Hollie Gazzard, a 21-year-od hairdresser who was stalked and then stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend.

I met Hollie’s dad Nick in Bristol last month. He was battling Facebook to have photogs of Hollie’s murderer removed from her Facebook profile.

Gary Rycroft.

Gary Rycroft.

Facebook was not co-operating saying that when a user dies their policy is to delete the profile or “memorialise” it as is, however, they were insistent they do not allow “edits”.

This was not what Hollie’s family wanted as their wish was to keep her profile going so her family and friends could remember her “online”, but they wanted photos of her killer removed, as quite understandably it was upsetting for them to log on and see him smiling at them.

Nick was in a David and Goliath situation. I advised him that, as the representative of Hollie’s estate, he now had control of the copyright to the photos taken by her so he could contact Facebook to revoke the copyright to the offending ones.

This he did and the good news is Facebook have acknowledged the force of the legal argument put to them and have removed the photos of her killer from Hollie’s profile.

A small victory, but one with a big impact for one grieving family.

Nick Gazzard has been in touch with me over the past week to say he hopes we have set a precedent for other grieving families in similar situations.

I think we have - and not just for families in horrific situations like the Gazzards.

The law of copyright is what it is and so any one left with responsibility for a Facebook profile of a loved one after their death could use the same argument.

It also made me think more about how this generation will be remembered after it has made way for the next.

Our digital footprint really is the modern way we will live on after death.

So tread carefully out there.