So­cial me­dia af­ter­life

Will you live on af­ter you have died?

Balonne Beacon - - TRENDING -

NO­BODY ever re­ally dies in the 21st cen­tury be­cause even when your phys­i­cal body leaves the world, a dig­i­tal legacy is left be­hind.

When you die, it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean your so­cial me­dia self dies too.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports in 2016, about 8000 Face­book users die daily, the equiv­a­lent of 428 ev­ery hour.

In the first 10 years of Face­book’s ex­is­tence, 30 mil­lion users died, with 312,500 now re­port­edly pass­ing away each month.

In fact, if the so­cial net­work­ing gi­ant stops grow­ing, more users will be dead than alive by 2065. So what hap­pens to your Face­book, In­sta­gram and Twit­ter ac­counts when you die?

Although Face­book has mea­sures in place for dead pro­files, ac­cord­ing to The Sun, some mas­sive so­cial me­dia sites will keep ac­counts ac­tive long af­ter the user has died.

If a Twit­ter user dies, the com­pany says it will work with a per­son au­tho­rised to act on the be­half of the es­tate – or a ver­i­fied im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­ber – to have an ac­count de­ac­ti­vated.

It is also pos­si­ble to re­quest the re­moval of a de­ceased user’s ac­count, but they will re­quire a copy of ID from the per­son mak­ing the re­quest and a copy of the death cer­tifi­cate.

How­ever, Twit­ter clearly states that it will not give ac­cess to a de­ceased user’s ac­count re­gard­less of his or her re­la­tion­ship to the fam­ily mem­ber or friend re­quest­ing au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

When it comes to Face­book, the so­cial net­work­ing site added a new set­ting last year that gives users the op­tion of hav­ing their ac­count per­ma­nently deleted when they die.

Oth­er­wise users can choose a friend or fam­ily mem­ber to be­come a “legacy con­tact” and take con­trol of some as­pects of their ac­count af­ter their death. Face­book re­quires proof of death be­fore this can be ac­ti­vated.

Legacy con­tacts can post a fi­nal mes­sage on the pro­file be­fore it is turned into a me­mo­rial where friends can post mes­sages of re­mem­brance and sym­pa­thy.

Un­suit­able con­tent can be mod­er­ated by the legacy con­tact.

To choose a legacy con­tact, users have to ac­cess set­tings un­der the Se­cu­rity tab and choose the “Legacy Con­tact” op­tion that ap­pears at the bot­tom.

Like Face­book, In­sta­gram memo­ri­alises ac­counts, but they can’t be changed and no one can log into the pro­file.

Posts of the de­ceased user will stay shared on the site and are vis­i­ble to the peo­ple they were shared with, but memo­ri­alised ac­counts do not ap­pear in pub­lic spa­ces like searches.

In­sta­gram asks that friends and rel­a­tives get in touch via email to no­tify them that a user has died. The pic­ture-shar­ing app asks for proof of death.

When it comes to emails, Google users can set up an “In­ac­tive Ac­count Man­ager” to delete their email ac­count af­ter a pe­riod of in­ac­tiv­ity.

Gmail will, how­ever, al­low a friend or rel­a­tive to ap­ply to ob­tain the con­tents of a de­ceased per­son’s email.

Ya­hoo will let rel­a­tives and friends delete an ac­count if they have proof of death.

Users also have the op­tion of set­ting an In­ac­tive Ac­count Man­ager, which ei­ther shares or delete your ac­count af­ter a set pe­riod of in­ac­tiv­ity.

But Ap­ple works slightly dif­fer­ently in that iCloud and iTunes ac­counts are “non trans­fer­able” – mean­ing that any rights to in­for­ma­tion ter­mi­nate when a user dies.

WHEN YOU’RE GONE: What hap­pens to all of your so­cial me­dia ac­counts af­ter you die? There are some ac­tions you can take to en­sure a proper legacy. Photo: iS­tock

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