Friday, February 7, 2014

After a St. Louis Father's Tearful Plea, Facebook Makes Look Back Video for Dead Son

Posted By on Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge John Berlin asks Facebook for his son's "Look Back" video. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • John Berlin asks Facebook for his son's "Look Back" video.

Facebook will make a special Look Back video for a St. Louis father whose son died last year after his tearful YouTube plea went viral Wednesday.

John Berlin can't access the Facebook account of his son Jesse, who died at 22 on January 28, 2012. He doesn't have the password.

Without access to the account, Berlin can't see his son's Facebook Look Back, a new feature that encapsulates a user's Facebook history into a one-minute video in honor of the site's ten-year anniversary.

"I'm calling out to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook," Berlin says, pausing often to fight back tears. "All we want to do is see his movie. That's it. I don't even need to see his account. If you guys could just do it yourself, I don't care."

See also: KDHX's Chris Ward Shows the World What #FacebookIs10 Videos Should Really Look Like

On Wednesday afternoon Berlin posted on Facebook that his video had worked, and the social network will make a video of Jesse Berlin's life for the family:

  • Facebook

Update: Here's the video Facebook promised:

Berlin's grief and honesty took his video plea viral. After it soared on Reddit, American media outlets -- including USA Today, the Huffington Post, Gawker -- and British and Australian outlets started covering the story.

"Everybody else does these videos and things, and they go viral. That's what I'm trying to do," Berlin says.

Families have asked Facebook for access to their dead relatives' pages for years now. Berlin says a Facebook representative told him the company would find a way to memorialize those pages, which could give grieving families access.

People are even making their own, unofficial tribute videos of Jesse Berlin:

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

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