What Happens to A Social Media Profile When Someone Dies?
More people use social media every day than ever before. People continue to sign up for sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Google + and more. But, the reality is the question of what happens when a person dies? Does the social media account go away?
The answer is that it depends on the platform. Pinterest specifies in its rules and terms that it does not do anything. Your account could remain up indefinitely. If you are a Facebook user, Facebook will either change it to a memorial page, leave it be or delete it. They need to hear from loved ones to find out you or a loved one has died.
There are no laws that pertain to this sort of thing in the United States. There probably should be because of how susceptible online profiles can be to trolls or people who are mean-spirited and just want to put comments on a page that is not actively monitored. That does not exactly help the surviving family members but the fact that this can happen should be a cause for deciding ahead of time what your social media wishes are.
A simple way to handle this is to assemble a list of everyone’s usernames and passwords. The thought of collecting information like this is not easy to deal with, but remember that it will go a long way in the event of someone’s passing. You can avoid dealing with unpleasant comments about a loved one or seeing their page get bombarded with endless amounts of spam.
If you do choose to leave a page up as a memorial, Facebook allows this as long as they are in receipt of an obituary from an official publication. They will review the information before memorializing the account.