Facebook agrees to give dad ‘look back’ video of his deceased son (video)

7 Feb 2014

John Berlin, father of the late Jesse Berlin

Following a tearful appeal on YouTube that has attracted more than 1.8m views, Facebook has agreed to release a “look back” video to a man who lost his son.

This week, to mark its 10th anniversary, Facebook created a special tool that compiled each user’s special moments since joining the social network, selecting their top photos and most liked comments, and converted them into an edited one-minute movie.

In a video posted on YouTube, St Louis, Missouri-based John Berlin spoke movingly about his son Jesse, who died of unknown causes in his sleep in January 2012.

Berlin said that despite emailing and calling Facebook, he and his family have been unable to access Jesse’s Facebook account.

‘All I want to do is see his movie’


“All I want to do is see his movie. That’s it. I don’t even mean to get on his account. If you guys could …”

He asked his friends and their friends to share his appeal. “And maybe somebody could see it that counts. I know it’s a shot in the dark but I don’t care. I want to see my son’s video. His name is Jesse Berlin. So please help me.”

Facebook saw the video and granted John Berlin’s wish. It said it is also considering altering its policy of disabling accounts of people who have passed away.

“John’s story and emotion moved us to take action – so we did,” Facebook said.

“This experience reinforced to us that there’s more Facebook can do to help people celebrate and commemorate the lives of people they have lost.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years