What happens to our online presence after we pass away?

Are profiles immortal? Are memories lost? How do the major social media sites handle a death among their users?

Facebook adopted a policy of “memorializing” the pages of deceased users. If you pass away, your page won’t disappear – unless you or your loved ones decide that it should. Once memorialized, no one can log into it any further. The page is taken out of Facebook’s general search option, but the wall remains open for tribute postings by Facebook friends. In fact, only friends can see the profile/timeline.1

 Memorialization isn’t the only choice available. An account can be taken down if “verified immediate family members” or executors request.

LinkedIn might memorialize your profile if you pass away. In its privacy notice, LinkedIn states: “If we learn that a User is deceased, we may memorialize the User’s account. In these cases we may restrict profile access, remove messaging functionality, and close an account if we receive a formal request from the User’s next of kin or other proper legal request to do so.” 2

Twitter takes a very thorough approach to deactivating accounts of deceased users. Executors or “verified immediate family members” must mail or fax requested documentation to its San Francisco headquarters.3

When a Twitter user dies, no heir, relative, friend or executor can log into the account – no one. Its policy states, “We are unable to provide login information for the account to anyone regardless of his or her relationship to the deceased.”3

Your digital assets can be managed after your passing. Websites like Legacy Locker and DataInherit exist to help people safeguard and convey online data to heirs. Sites such as Great Goodbye, Great Respectance and 1,000memories serve as portals for last emails, last videos and posthumous online tributes. Perhaps the online world is better prepared for our passing than we are.

Mike Moffitt may be reached at Ph# 641-782-5577 or email:  mikem@cfgiowa.com

Michael Moffitt is a Registered Representative with and Securities are offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investments advice offered through Advantage Investment Management (AIM), a registered investment advisor. Cornerstone Financial Group and AIM are separate entities from LPL Financial.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

1 – www.facebook.com/help/?page=185698814812082 [3/8/12]

2 – www.linkedin.com/static?key=privacy_policy [6/16/11]

3 – support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-a-violation/topics/148-policy-information/articles/87894-how-to-contact-twitter-about-a-deceased-user# [6/16/11]

 

 

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