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23/04/2013 by

Google And Facebook Launch Tools To Die Digitally

What happens to your social media profiles when you die? This has been the question that has been going around the web lately, and Google and Facebook have the answer for you.

Google Facebook digital death

Have you ever wondered what happens to your Facebook page when you kick the bucket? Maybe a morbid question but, now that important information about your personal life is increasingly being stored in the cloud, it is a relevant one.

Google recently launched the Inactive Account Manager. This feature makes sure your personal information, Google documents and e-mails or YouTube videos are shared with loved ones or deleted when you have been inactive for a certain amount of time.

After 3 to 12 months, depending on your own wishes, Google will send you a notification, after which your last wishes will be granted.

google inactive account manager

What about Facebook? They haven’t got an option that lets you delete your entire account, but have several features with which you can make sure you can be remembered when you die.

There is the Facebook ‘If I Die-app’ that can be used to record a farewell message for your selected friends and family.

Furthermore, your loved ones can choose to convert your personal profile to a memorial page on which your Facebook friends can post comments, photos and videos to commemorate you by. Facebook makes sure any personal information like contact information and status updates can be removed from the page.

A Dutch company called Digizeker offers digital vaults in which details of  your virtual activity can be kept in case you pass away. For 50 euros a year, your accounts and passwords are safely stored. Only certain people you have authorized get access to the contents of your vault, and are able to delete anything.

My Opinion
As morbid as thinking about your social media channels after your death may be, I think it is definitely becoming more and more important to make sure your loved ones can delete anything that can be remotely painful to them after you die.

These apps can help in the process, but are certainly not enough yet. The possibility of deleting your data has to be spread to all major social networks, making it easier for the people you leave behind not to be obliged to go through your online things.

Of course it is possible that your loved ones do not want all of your social media activity to be gone, so being able to choose what gets deleted and what won’t is an essential feature of future new services like this.

What About You?
Do you think services and apps like this are going to become more important? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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About the author
Marion aan ‘t Goor is a Social Media Consultant at ICON&Co. You can connect with Marion via Twitter and LinkedIn.


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