At some point you will die. Soon or later, the angel of death will come knocking. How prepared are you for that moment? The internet has become like a basic need for most people, spending most of their time online, mapping their lives through social media, blogs and emails; and each day they keep building their digital assets. It’s important to take a moment and think what happens to these records and data when you die. These online platforms may contain photos, videos and sentimental notes about your life, some of which you may not want to remain visible in perpetuity on those platforms.
It very disturbing and painful to your loved ones if your account falls into wrong hands, and inappropriate posts, comments on messages send from it. It’s important to state in your will, what you want to happen to your online legacy, which includes anything you have posted and not deleted before your death. Each social media company handles the situation in different ways, basically revolving around three options.
- Appoint a legacy contact who will maintain your account after your death
- With proof of death your account can be memorialized and a nominated curator can add a header note announcing your death, but they would be unable to alter existing posts
- Your loved one, with proof of death, may instruct the social media network company to delete everything in your account
This is how social media companies deal with accounts of dead users.
- On Facebook you can appoint someone has your legacy contact to look after your account if it’s memorialized. Once your account has been memorized, Facebook will add “Remembering” badge to the profile, hides the profile from public spaces, and prevents anyone from logging onto the account. Your legacy contact can; write a pinned post for your profile (example: to share a final message on your behalf or provide information about a memorial service), update your profile picture and cover photo or request the removal of your account
- Twitter allows a loved one with an ID and a copy of the user’s death certificate to request for deactivation of a Twitter account belonging to a deceased person
- Though Instagram has no option for legacy contact, your loved one may petition memorialize your account. In which case the account will be hidden from public spaces and login disabled
- LinkedIn offers an option to request for deactivation of an account belong to a deceased person by filling this form