Death and the Social Web


mikebutcher #svc2c #svuk Panel appears to have stumbled on fact that @ajkeen was right: if you're not on social networks you're dead


josiefraser: @ajkeen @mikebutcher Plenty of dead people on twitter, cf @Henry_Fuseli @Edgar_Allan_Poe @JDerridian & million Sigmund Freuds


josiefraser: obscurity maybe even more fatal than death within the social web

My Uncle John died this month, so I had a few more conversations than usual about death, and particularly it's relationship to the social web. Social Networking Services are developing policies and processes relating to the archiving and accessing of people's accounts after they die, and people who have significant digital presence are stating to think about bequest issues – will the sorting out of our online information, artifacts, accounts become an additional job for our relatives or friends, to be approached in the same way as clearing the physical shelves and sorting through documents? And what can explain the rise in popularity of dead celebrity fakesters, some of whom have many more followers than average users?

digital identity after death

an email i received, about death and facebook Ze Frank, September 9 2009

Identity, Memory, Death & the Internet Dave Cormier, September 18th 2009

Grieving Goes Digital NewsOK, May 25 2009

thinking ahead

What happens to your social network accounts when you die?, November 16 2009

Legacy Locker "The secure way to pass your online accounts to your loved ones"

dead celebrities on Twitter

25 Dead People of Twitter Soulellis Studio, March 1 2009

Dead People Twitter List, News

Tweeji "Follow dead people on Twitter"

2 thoughts on “Death and the Social Web

  1. I must admit that getting a recent prod from Facebook suggesting that I should ‘reconnect’ with a ‘friend’ who has actually been dead for the last few months took me slightly by surprise 🙂 Of course, Facebook had no way of knowing this without some kind of outside intervention.
    I agree that there are some interesting issues here, particularly about how we should plan for helping other people to deal with our digital identity after we die.
    The converse question is about how we should respond when our friends die. For example, should you unfollow/unfriend people that you know who have died if their old social presence hasn’t been dealt with in some way by their relatives?
    The notion of ‘friend’ persists – the notion of ‘follow’ kinda doesn’t. But that’s probably reading too much into those two words!

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