Facebook ordered to explain why it deleted the profile of a dead man after a mysterious request

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  • Facebook has been ordered to reveal why the profile of a jazz musician was deleted two years after his death, according to reports.
  • Facebook withheld information from Mirza Krupalija’s partner, but a British judge said the company must disclose who made the deletion request.
  • Krupalija’s partner Azra Sabados said the disappearance of the Facebook pages was like he had “died a second time.”
  • Facebook has 21 days to respond. The firm declined to comment.

A British judge has ordered Facebook to reveal the identity of the person who asked for the profile of a jazz musician to be deleted two years after his death, The Times reports.

Mirza Krupalija died suddenly in 2016, and about six months after he passed away, Facebook received a request to delete both Mr Krupalija’s personal profile and the page of his band, Kaiten.

Facebook deleted the pages, meaning his partner of six years, Azra Sabados, lost messages and photos relating to him. Sabados told the court that it felt like her partner had “died a second time,” according to The Times.

“It’s that feeling, you lose someone you love and you try to hang onto everything, and then something happens and you can’t explain that either and nobody knows, none of the friends, none of the family,” she later told the BBC.

“Lots of Mirza’s profile included me and our travels, our photos, music he shared, some for me, some for friends, his profile stated that he was in a relationship with me – they [Facebook] could have dropped me an email to check [before deleting it].”

Facebook declined to tell Sabados who asked for the pages to be deleted, and she said no family member made the request. She also told the BBC that she spent a year talking to Facebook before deciding to pursue legal action.

Sabados has been trying to secure funding to cover her legal costs, which she estimated could rise to £10,000 ($US13,000),through a JustGiving page she launched 10 months ago.

“Facebook policy makers should seriously and swiftly reconsider their procedures and identity checks for such drastic requests,” she said on the page, adding that the deletion was “malicious and actionable” under English law.

In a High Court ruling on Tuesday, Judge Richard Parkes QC ordered Facebook to reveal the identity of the person who requested that the pages be deleted.

“The claimant was devastated by the loss of material,” he reportedly said. “She finds it hard to imagine how or why the person could have done that and how Facebook gave them standing.”

According to the BBC, the firm has 21 days to respond. Facebook declined to comment. Business Insider has also contacted Sabados and her lawyer for comment. The ruling has not yet been published.

In addition to the JustGiving page, there is currently a petition to have Krupalija’s page restored. It states: “We the undersigned call on Facebook to restore Mirza’s profile and private messages and to memorialise it in accordance with Facebook policy on deceased person’s accounts.”

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