What happens to Social media account of Individual who lost live due to Covid?

Alan Joseph Alan Joseph
May 31, 2021 5 min read
What happens to Social media account of Individual who lost live due to Covid?

Over the past few months, the second wave of Covid has been increasing in India and most of us have lost our dear ones. The pandemic has increased the death rate and the second wave has become very fatal. But, have you ever wondered what would happen to the social media accounts of the ones who lose their life during the Covid battle or any other cause? In this article let’s look at what happens to the social media accounts of the users who lost their life due to Covid or any other cause.

Study by University of Oxford on Social Media accounts
Procedures that can be followed to the social media account after death of an individual
Steps taken by Facebook and Instagram to the account after death of an individual
Steps taken by Twitter to the account after death of an individual
Steps taken by Google and WhatsApp to the account after death of an individual
FAQ

Study by University of Oxford on Social Media accounts

According to a study by the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford based on the social media user levels as of 2018, it was found that around 1.4 billion users will die before 2100 which would be more than the social media users living on Facebook during 2070.

This is a serious issue that nobody has thought about and like any other account such as a bank account, the social media companies will have to find a nominee who would be able to close the account or take care of the account after the death of the individual. Currently, there are three different procedures towards the social media account of a person who lost his life.

Procedures that can be followed to the social media account after death of an individual

There are 3 different procedures that can be followed to the social media account after the death of an individual. The first step would be to just leave the account untouched. There won’t be any changes made to the account and it would remain intact after the death of an individual.

The second step would be informing the related company and closing down of the account. It would be any social media company such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram which can be done by submitting the death certificate of the individual and the last step would be to give access to a nominee and make it a memorial account.


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Steps taken by Facebook and Instagram to the account after death of an individual

Facebook Memorial Page
Facebook Memorial Page

Facebook provides this feature to hand over the account and to make it a memorial one. The legacy contacts will not get the same features towards the account, he will only be able to change the profile picture, respond to friend requests or write a tribute post on the account.

The account can be identified as a word Remembering will be shown next to the account. These accounts will not be visible on the friend’s suggestions or won’t show any birthday alerts towards other users. Instagram also provides the same option regarding the social media account.

Steps taken by Twitter to the account after death of an individual

Twitter does not provide access to the legacy account holder towards the account. The individual's account will have to be deactivated. The immediate family member will have to request on deactivating the account by providing their id, death certificate and other documents required by the company.

However, if an immediate family member or a closed one has access to the deceased individual’s account then the account can be kept active and the user can update the posts according to their choice.


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Steps taken by Google and WhatsApp to the account after death of an individual

Google has not provided any information regarding the account after the death of an individual. However, a close family member or a person can apply by providing the required documents and close the google account of the individual.

Google also asks an individual while creating an account on the closure of account during inactivity and if the individual select an option of 3 months, then an inactivity of the account for 3 months would automatically delete the google account.

In the case of WhatsApp, there is no such procedure for closure or deleting the account. Whoever has access to the deceased person’s mobile phone will have access towards WhatsApp and the account will have to be manually deleted from the phone.

Conclusion

However, except for a few social media companies, there is no much procedure to close down or to bring changes to a deceased person’s account. There are arguments that the government should mandate a certain procedure for the social media accounts of the individuals who lose their life.

FAQ

What happens to your WhatsApp when you die?

WhatsApp has no way of knowing if users are dead or not. If an individual does die, their account will most likely continue to exist, and people will still be able to send them messages.

Can you delete a dead person Facebook?

Facebook has two options: You can request to either memorialize a Facebook page or delete it all together.

What happens to your Instagram when you die?

According to Instagram's policy, the account of a deceased person can either be reported, or an immediate family member can request that the account be deleted.

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