10,000 people. That’s how many Facebook users die each day.
It’s a grim thought, but reports say 30 million users have passed away in the first eight years of Facebook existing. Think about that, plus all the other forms of social media accounts out there such as Instagram and Twitter, and that's a lot of inactive accounts.
So what happens to all that information when someone passes away?
Facebook users are given a few options as to what happens when they die. You can add a “legacy contact” who will be able to look after your account if you want to memorialise it.
A memorialised account is basically frozen, but stays visible to whoever it was shared with. Depending on your privacy settings, people can share memories on your account, tag photos, and the account won’t appear in public spaces such as “People you may know”.
You can also request to have your account permanently deleted.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter will delete an account, but it won’t keep an inactive one in your memory.
But you can get a deceased loved one's account deleted if you want to. Twitter will work with you to do this, but you will need to provide information about them, your ID and a copy of the death certificate.
One thing to remember with Twitter is that your account will be automatically deactivated after six months of inactivity.
You can register to have your Instagram account immortalised, or family members can request it so long as they provide proof of death.
Memorialised accounts can’t be changed in any way, and all posts and videos will be available to whoever they shared them with. The account won’t appear in public spaces though like “Search & Explore”.
So there you have it. While it might seem a little bit morbid to think about what will happen to all your accounts when you die, if you do want your loved ones to keep having access, it might be worthwhile to get things organised now.
Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org