What to Do With Someone’s Social Media Accounts After Death

What to Do With Someone’s Social Media Accounts After Death

Social media plays an essential role in our modern, digital lives. But what happens once we pass away? It’s a question that’s coming up again and again as a result of the building number of social media profiles belonging to the deceased. It’s also a concern due to unfortunate incidents occurring in the past such as these accounts being hacked and sending spam, upsetting loved ones.

In response to these concerns, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter now provide options for you and your loved ones to manage the profiles of deceased family and friends. This includes deactivation and options to keep profiles viewable but inactive. We explore these options below.

Facebook Profiles

Facebook allows you to gain control of a deceased loved one’s profile by filling out a special request form. To do so, you have to provide verification that you are an immediate family member or executor for account removal or special requests. Prior to your death, you can choose a legacy contact through your settings, which nominates someone to look after your account after you die.

  • If your loved one selects you as the legacy contact before they pass away or if you apply for control over their profile, you’ll be able to:
  • Request the removal of the account
  • Update the profile picture and cover photo
  • Respond to friend requests
  • Choose to ‘memorialise’ the account
  • Manage posts on the profile, which includes deciding who can post and who can see posts, deleting posts and removing tags.

If you choose to memorialise an account, their Facebook friends can continue to post tributes and memories on their profile page depending on the privacy settings. The word ‘remembering’ will appear next to the person’s name to indicate they’ve passed away. Memorialised profiles can’t be logged into and don’t appear in any public search functions.

Instagram

Since Facebook controls Instagram, the platform also allows you to remove a deceased person’s account or memorialise it. To request either, you must verify your identity and supply proof of the account holder’s death, such as a copy of the death certificate, an obituary or news article. If you choose to memorialise your loved one’s account, the way content is shared will be limited to avoid upsetting friends or family. The account will also be secured so no one can access it.

Twitter

Twitter can deactivate accounts in the event of a death. To request a deletion, you’ll need to contact Twitter by clicking the ‘request the deactivation of a deceased user’s account’ in the Help Center. There is unfortunately no option to lock down or memorialise accounts on Twitter, meaning if you want to leave your account active after you pass away, it’s at risk of being hacked. In some cases, you can request that certain posts or imagery are removed.

Other Social Media Accounts

Other platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Youtube share a similar process to Twitter. You can request to close or deactivate your deceased loved one’s account by filling out an online form providing information about the account holder and verifying your identity as a family member or executor.

Funeral Services in Maitland

At Fry Bros Funerals, we can offer support and guidance after a loved one passes away, including assistance arranging a funeral. Call us for services across Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, the Hunter Valley and all surrounding areas on 02 4933 6155 or contact us online.