What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?

Best Practices, Social Media

What happens to your social media accounts after you pass away? Do your accounts just get taken down or can someone take ownership of them? I mean, this is way more than Relationship Status: Dead or some really weird looking emoji right? 

Most people might not know what to do when their loved ones pass away and leave them with inactive accounts, but thanks to webpagefx that has changed.

Twitter will delete inactive accounts after about six months, but other social networking sites will leave your accounts alone unless they are contacted by the authorities or a family member. Whether your account is deleted or deactivated, your social data will be buried with your profile, and will typically only be brought back up if needed for a legal investigation.

It depends on the social media site that you have accounts on but most require you to show proof of death. Facebook actually lets you turn the deceased Facebook profile into a memorial page.

 

Did you know?

Between 10 million and 20 million Facebook profiles likely belong to people who have passed on? That was taken from a report issued recently by research firm Internet Monitor. The memorialized timeline is accessible and searchable only to friends, who can still post and look at pictures. The profile won’t trigger birthday reminders, nor will it appear in “People You May Know” prompts, so friends will only see it on their own accord.

Facebook doesn’t delete profiles on it’s own which addresses an interesting question: When will the profiles of dead Facebook users outnumber those of the living? According to xkcd,  that will happen around 2065 if Facebook stops growing, or around 2130 if its membership keeps expanding.

Digital-Demise-Infographic 
Created by WebpageFX
So, what should you do now?

  • You should write out all of your passwords, store them in a safe and only tell someone you trust that they are in there, especially if you have a Tinder account. They also say you can use an online password storing service that can store all of your passwords should something happen. The only problem with that is you need a password to log into that account.
  • If you don’t want your Facebook page turned into a memorial you should put that into your will. If you don’t mind that you can choose who will be your legacy contact if your page turns into a memorial page. You can do that now, click here.
  • If you manage multiple business pages, ensure that a colleague or trusted advisor knows how to access them should you pass on or become incapacitated.

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