General Question

RareDenver's avatar

What happens to your facebook account when you die?

Asked by RareDenver (13038 points ) May 14th, 2010

I assume someone would have to let them know you died but how do they know the info they get is genuine? I guess this goes for any internet account, even Fluther.

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23 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Well. I was going to explain this to you.. but then it got interrupted in chat.

Facebook has a contact form that you can submit the information about a deceased person.
It asks for their name, their birthday, the email they used for the account, any networks they were in, the URL of their page, your relationship to the person, whether or not you want the page memorialized or deleted, proof of death [obituary or news article link] and any additional information you want to give them.

I did this for my best friend/ex’s account.
They emailed me back about two days later.

We are very sorry to hear about your loss. Per our policy for deceased users, we have memorialized [Name’s] account. This removes certain sensitive information and sets privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in Search. Additionally, the profile will no longer appear in the “Suggestions” section of the home page. The Wall, however, remains so that friends and family can leave posts in remembrance.

Nullo's avatar

An interesting turn of the phrase, “What happens to you when you die?” It does a remarkable job of underscoring the enormous role that Facebook has in the social Web.

filmfann's avatar

It goes to that giant Farmville in the sky.

I am not sure what happens if Facebook is not notified. It seems like if the account has been inactive for a while, they must do something to shelve it.

rangerr's avatar

@filmfann Matt’s account was still up the way he left it for 3 years before I contacted them about it.

Ludy's avatar

You know this is such a good question, but I am very surprised that so little people answered, and also what if, ok, they’re like your ex or a vengative upset friend that knows all your information and does this kind of thing?

perspicacious's avatar

I suppose it will be your longest-living legacy.

MissA's avatar

I guess that we must, indeed, make a list of sites to be dealt with after our demise. And, to think, it used to just be calling the utility companies.

anartist's avatar

Unless officially terminated, It just withers away.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Do you think it will simply die away when the next killer app comes along an replaces FB? You won’t upgrade your password, or pay a maintenance fee, or log in for over a year, or whatever and it will go to the big Geocities at Delphi in the ether.

Great question.

meagan's avatar

They sit there unless your family does something about it.
A friend of mine died a few years ago and his facebook is still up. Its nice to see people still comment on his wall every now and again about how much they love and miss him. I’m glad its still up. I’d miss looking at his photos.

rudalfseo's avatar

It is an interesting question. I can not say exactly I think my account also die with me.

LostInParadise's avatar

At some point they will be forced to do a cleanup. It is fair to say that anyone who created an account 100 years ago is no longer active.

I was wondering something similar about Wikipedia. They have a lot of entries about things that are currently going on that will not be of much interest later on. Do they have a way of retiring articles?

anartist's avatar

Wikipedia has virtually endless storage capacity and a continuing editorial process.Articles get revised, expanded, or reduced as time and perspective change, until at some point, it is considered finished.
And someone somewhere just might want that article that now seems useless. Wikipedia is now working on such issues and invites its editors [anyone can be one] to take part

downtide's avatar

My partner has my password for my most important social sites, and instructions to log in and let people know if anything terminal happens to me.

anartist's avatar

My friend Janet somehow missed all this social web stuff, so all her commemorations are on her web-savvy friends’ sites.

gondwanalon's avatar

I have not logged onto facebook in 4 months. I don’t intend to ever log on. Friends tell me that my facebook account is still there even though I closed my account the last time that I logged on. It looks like you will need a highly skilled computer expert as well as a very good attorney to wipe away a facebook account. Simply dying isn’t going to do it….EVER!

gondwanalon's avatar

@anartist I like the “web 2.0 suicide machine”. I tried to give it a try but it was too busy doing other facebook suicides it told me to try again later. I can’t wait! Thanks !

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

That did happen to a web-site friend (Second Life). He didn’t show up for 2 days in a row, and we started asking his closest friend. On the 4th day, she Googled his real life name and where he lived and found his obituary.

His ex-wife posted a notice on his SL account and then eventually closed it. RIP Dean…

anartist's avatar

@gondwanalon Really? Too busy doing other FB suicides? LOL

AshlynM's avatar

Obviously it will just sit there unless a request or order is put in to facebook to remove it. It could possibly remain as a memorial or tribute to the deceased and everyone could still comment or post pictures on it.

jonsblond's avatar

I have a friend whose son (age 20) died of an overdose. A day after he died two of his friends were arguing on his wall about who was responsible for his death. It was really sad. I’ve also noticed on another friends wall that his Facebook became a memorial. Friends were commenting on his wall for days after his death. This all seems so strange to me for some reason.

There is another friend of mine who had brain cancer and lived with it for a decade (he was only given 2 years to live when he was diagnosed). I had heard he wasn’t doing well so I sent a friend request to him. He never received the request and died two days later. This was a year ago and now and then to the right of my wall I see his profile picture (under the “people you may know” section). It’s kind of haunting. It makes me sad at first then I smile because I get a chance to see his face again. This happened to me again just this week. :(

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