What happens with your social media when you die?

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Have you ever wondered what happens with the social media of those who die?  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have alternatives for those cases

What happens with your social media when you die?

"The only sure thing in this life is death", although it sounds like a banal phrase, it does not stop having a big weight when it comes to making decisions about our future. Of course, we do not plan to die soon, but we can leave some things in order for that moment. For example, there are insurances, funeral expenses, and testaments. However, technology advances faster than we can imagine, life has spread to the digital world, and in particular social networks become an important part of our lives.

Leer en español: ¿Qué pasa con tus redes sociales cuando mueres?

Have you thought about what would happen to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile in case something happened to you? Possibly not, but, although it is a difficult issue for most, these social media have alternatives so that everything is in order if something happens.

Now that Marie Kondo has put "order" into 2019 trends and that, according to the magazine Architectural Digest, the book The Gentle Art of the Cleaning of the Swedish Death: how to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of disorder by Margareta Magnusson has put an eye on döstädning (cleaning before death), the digital life should not be left out.

The new information technologies have become an attempt to avoid mourning, connecting death in the modern digital age with the old beliefs of immortality and resurrection.

Have social media changed grief?

The main point to take care in the case of digital life is privacy, that keyword that has become an obsession with technology. But in death’s case, there is also how users of a social media interact with them.

In an article published by UNAM Global on this subject, it is deepened on the way in which death can transform the grieving process, highlighting that for some it can be a good way to remember someone through a commemorative profile, while for others it can be macabre. It even asks if technology can make it impersonal since obituaries have become digital.


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These are the actions that the owner of an account, friends or relatives can do in case of a user’s death:


According to El Universal, when a Twitter user dies, a nearby user can fill out a form to make one of the two possible requests: Close the account or turn it into a commemorative account.

In none of the cases will anyone other than the regular user have access to the account information, so the social media only gives those options. To avoid false confusions or attempts to close the account, Twitter requests more information, of a legal nature, from the person who fills out the form, such as the death certificate and establishing its relationship with the deceased.


This network gives two options, the first is for when the owner is still alive, and that is, you can decide what will happen to your account in case of death. You can designate a legacy contact, which will be in charge of managing the account when the owner is not present and will not be able to modify the previous publications of the owner. The contact must be someone of absolute confidence. Also, the owner can decide if he wants his information removed in case of death.


The second option is for when the account holder died without leaving instructions for it. In this case, as in Twitter, verified family members or friends can request that the account disappear or be converted into a memorial. They will have to fill out a form and also provide legal evidence that the person has died.


This social media gives the relatives of deceased persons the option of deciding whether the account will be deleted or converted into a commemorative account. They must fill out a form and check with documents that the person has died. The publications and the public for which it is visible will continue in the way that the titular user left it.


LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

Translated from: '¿Qué pasa con tus redes sociales cuando mueres?'