Facebook and Twitter: Dealing with mortality rate

With 2 of the biggest online social networking sites growing in numbers by the day, this week has seen Facebook and Twitter having to review their policies on how to deal with a deceased user and their account. Every year, figures show one and a half million Facebook users die each year and Twitter’s are similar in comparison. This poses the question of the impact it has on the relatives and friends left behind.

According to Stewart Mitchell at PC Pro, the 2 networking sites’ reminders to “reconnect” with deceased friends and relatives or the automatic deletion of dead people’s accounts only add to the relatives grief. This week, Twitter have announced that they will be changing their policy on what their procedures are in relation to users’ accounts after they die.

The new policy states that when the account holder has died, relatives can delete or archive the account once they have provided proof that the person is deceased such as, their full name, contact details, their relationship to that person, the user name and proof of death.

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  • Jill Elswick

    What does it mean to "archive" the account? Does that mean it still exists on Facebook but you have to know where it is? That would make sense, because no one wants their dead friend's avatar to pop up in the "Friends" area or to be listed as someone they might know. But grieving friends and family may still wish to look at the person's Facebook page as a memorial.