With #RIPTWITTER trending over the past few weeks after Elon's takeover, we thought it'd be a great time to explain what happens to social media accounts following a death.
Unless you live under a rock, you've probably got at least 2-3 social media accounts on your phone. But did you know each has its processes for closing down accounts if you die?
In the grand scheme of things, it feels like this is the least of your worries beyond death; however, – understanding digital legacies is essential as social media plays a massive role in modern life.
Sounds pretty fancy, right? In reality, it's a caretaker of your accounts who can manage your socials beyond death. This policy varies from platform to platform – e.g., Facebook can allow a memorial page in your legacy from the caretaker.
There are a few options Facebook allows for when you die.
Either nominate a legacy contact, or you can opt to have your account wiped from the platform for good.
If you don't have an option, FB will memorialise the account if it tracks data you have passed. ( RIP comments from friends are the most popular way they populate this).
Want to set up a legacy contact?
Go into your settings inside of Facebook and click on the memorialisation settings. Once you've done this, you can nominate your contact. It's also a good idea to let the person know as well :)
A memorialised account will include a "Remembering" before the name. This new account will allow the caretaker to post tributes and old photos and moderate the activity on the page.
Twitter's website states they can work with the executor or next of Kin to make sure your account gets deleted once you die.
One key difference between Twitter and Facebook is that they won't allow anyone to take over the account – no matter the relationship.
It's worth noting that there are a lot of obstacles to jump through when trying to delete a loved one's account. Twitter will ask for more information on the deceased, a copy of the executor's ID, and the death certificate.
It sounds like a nightmare, but this is to prevent fake reports – which I get.
Firstly, there's a high chance you still will get recruiters inboxing you years beyond your death, and there's nothing we can do about that, unfortunately.
Jokes aside - Linkedin works in the same way as Facebook.
You'll need to go into the settings and select someone to be the caretaker of your account if something happens to you to decide whether to memorialise or delete the account.
Once memorialised, LinkedIn won't hand out passwords to family members or anyone.
A death certificate and legal documents need to be presented to show you have the authority to run the page.
Each to their own, I wouldn't lose any sleep knowing my LinkedIn doesn't go into eternity.
Being under the same brand as Facebook (Meta), you'll get the same principles when you die. They can either be deleted or memorialised at the request of an immediate family member when you pass.
They will honour your profile and protect your privacy by securing the account if the request is valid.
For complete removal, Many of the same principles apply – proof of identity as being a direct family member, death certificate, or evidence of authority representing the deceased person's estate.
I see Instagram as one platform I would keep after my death. Who doesn't like going back and looking at photos?
The easiest way to give access inside Google is to use their Inactive Account Manager tool to let them know who can access the account or whether it gets wiped.
Like most platforms, they will work closely with your family or representatives to close the account.
With the influx of security breaches with Google, they won't provide any passwords or login details for the account.
It can be somewhat bizarre to think about your digital identity from beyond the grave, and for a long time, I'd say not many people took this into account.
Yet, social media has become a massive part of our everyday lives, and it's only reasonable to think about what should happen when you can no longer run these pages and accounts.
With digital assets becoming a part of estates, it's time to think about the importance of having a family member or executor of your Will aware of your wishes for the different platforms you are on.
Still don't have a will? Get started today at safewill.com.