Web of the dead: When Facebook profiles of the deceased outnumber the living
But what about the actual death of Facebook users? What happens when a social media presence lives beyond the grave? Where does the data go?
It was estimated that 30 million Facebook users died in the first eight years of the social media site’s existence, according to the Huffington Post. Facebook even has settings to memorialize a deceased user’s page.
Facebook isn’t the only site with policies in place to handle a user’s passing. Pinterest, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter all handle death and data differently. For instance, to deactivate a Facebook profile you must provide proof that you are an immediate family member; for Twitter, however, you must produce the death certificate and your identification. All of the sites pinpointed by WebpageFX stated that your data belongs to you — some with legal or family exceptions.
Social media sites are in in general a young Internet phenomena — Facebook only turned 10 this year. So are a majority of their users. (And according to Mashable, Facebook still has a large number of teen adapters.) Currently, profiles of the living far outweigh those of the dead.
However, according to calculations done by XKDC, that will not always be the case. They presented two hypothetical scenarios. If Facebook loses its “cool” and market share, dead users will outnumber the living in 2065. If Facebook keeps up its growth, the site won’t be a digital graveyard until the mid 2100s.
Check out the fascinating infographic here.