How Facebook is helping one dad remember his son

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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A father who recently lost his son posted a YouTube video Wednesday asking for Facebook’s help in getting a little piece of his boy back.

In the video, John Berlin asked the popular social media platform’s founder Mark Zuckerberg to help him access his late son’s Facebook page so he could watch his “Look Back” video — a one-minute personalized video for every user made up of their posts.

Facebook began releasing the videos this week to celebrate its 10th birthday.

“So I’m asking my friends to share this video, and your friends to share it, and so on and so forth,” Berlin said while trying to hold back tears on the video. “And maybe somebody will see it that counts.”

“I want to see my son’s video. His name is Jesse Berlin, so please help me. I appreciate it, thanks,” the father said.

Jesse Berlin of St. Louis, Mo. was just 21 years old when he died of natural causes on Jan. 28, 2012, John Berlin said on YouTube. The father went on to explain he did not know any of his son’s passwords to Facebook or email, and had no way of accessing the accounts without help.

The emotional video has since picked up almost two million views and more than 6,400 comments, including an update from Jesse’s father.

“The response is overwhelming,” John Berlin wrote. “We just wanted to see a 1 minute vid. We’re going to get that vid. FB contacted us and they’re going to work on that vid. I want to thank everyone, for your support. I didn’t know what to expect from this but it was worth a try.”

In an interview with, Berlin said their story even prompted Facebook to consider a policy change letting family members memorialize the pages of their deceased.

“It’s still sinking in. I can’t believe that we could be a part of something to change and to help other people. It’s not big, but, you know, it’s big enough,” Berlin said.


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