Most of us have at least one social media account. Many of us have more than one. But have you ever given any thought into what happens to these after you pass away?
After someone dies, their loved ones may find it impossible to access their accounts due to the heavy privacy restrictions. It could mean the likes of Facebook continuing to flash up reminders and updates about the deceased in insensitive ways for years to come.
Most social media giants will remove a users page once they’ve learnt of their death and have ‘deactivation teams’ to manage the task. They can usually be reached through a general ‘contact us’ option and will require evidence of passing before taking any action – usually attaching a death certificate to an email will suffice but they’ve been known to except links to news stories or online obituaries.
Facebook and Instagram also have the option to ‘memorialise’ the users account. This removes the user from public spaces (so they won’t appear under ‘people you may know’ for example) and adds “Remembering…” before the users name to immediately highlight the fact they’re deceased. Facebook also allows users to select a ‘legacy contact’ who can have control over their account on the event of their death. They can add photos and messages, but they can’t delete earlier posts nor do they have access to the deceased’s private messages. Facebook also allow a user to request their account is ‘deleted in the event of my death’. You can find these options within general settings, under ‘memorialisation’.
To ensure your wishes are followed, why not tell your loved ones what you want done with all your digital content within your will? You could even include a sealed file with information such as your usernames and passwords.