What happens to your social media accounts when you die?

What happens to your social media accounts when you die?Social media platforms are widely used by the global population – regardless of their age, location, and personal interests. However, have you ever wondered what happens to your account when you die? Who manages the social media profiles? What about birthday and events reminder – most of the time, these bring distress to the grieving family and friends of the deceased?

Today, the cyberspace is full of active accounts of deceased users. But did you know that there are measures you can take to ensure a proper digital legacy is left behind for you or your loved one!

According to a recent report, around 8,000 users of Facebook – the leading social media platform die daily. This is equivalent to 428 users every hour. In fact, an analysis suggests that if the social networking giant stops growing – more users will be dead than alive by the year 2065.

Here, let us look at the protocols used by the different social media sites to keep your accounts active long after the user has died.

Facebook

Facebook has a feature enabled to memorialize an account after someone has died.

In the settings tab of the leading social media company, users are given an option to completely delete their account after their death or make friend/family member accountable through a ‘legacy contact’ who can control some aspects after they pass away.
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Through the ‘legacy contacts’, a special memorial is posted on the profile of the deceased allowing friends to post condolence messages. However, Facebook requires a proof of death to activate the feature.

Interested users can choose the legacy contact by going to the Security tab and tapping on the “legacy contact” option at the bottom of the page.

Instagram

Just like Facebook, Instagram also memorializes the user’s accounts. However, they cannot be changed or altered by a third-person.

The picture-sharing platform asks friends and family members to notify them about the death of a user through emailing them with a proof of death. The site will show the memorialized account to the contacts the deceased followed but will not make them visible on public spaces like search engines.

Twitter

As per the policy of Twitter, the account of an expired person remains active until a relative or friend gets in touch with the company.

The company clearly states that they will deactivate the account or remove it completely from their database upon the request of a verified family member. However, they will require a copy of the death certificate and a copy of ID from the person making the request.
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Nevertheless, no one will be given access to the deceased user’s account regardless of the relationship he or she has with the user.

Pinterest

Pinterest also deactivates accounts of deceased users open receiving a copy of the death certificate. However, a third party cannot retrieve the login details of the dead user or other information from their account, regardless of their relationship with the late soul.

Email

Those who use the services of Gmail for email purpose can set up an Inactive Account Manager to delete their email after a period of inactivity.

Just like other social media platforms, Yahoo email will also delete user’s account upon request and presenting proof of death.

Featured Image: iStock Photo / Ferran Traite

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