It is inevitable — one day we won’t be here anymore. It’s an uncomfortable thought that makes me cringe, but it will happen. The reason why I bring this up is because of an interesting debate I heard a while back on the talk radio station NewsTalk 1010, as well as in a social media class I took in university. The question for debate is: what happens to your social media account after you die, and who should have access to it?
Should anyone have access to your account?
Facebook has already taken this thought into consideration. According to an article posted on The Telegraph, a Facebook account can be “memorialized,” or a user can choose a legacy contact when they first create their Facebook account. This legacy contact will then have the access to delete the Facebook account or create any changes to the profile (Telegraph Financial Services, 2017). However, there is a privacy issue that needs to be considered. According to Facebook, it is a violation of one’s privacy to have another person log in to their account (who is not the legacy) to deactivate it, and is considered “breaking the law” (Telegraph Financial Services, 2017). Personal information is housed in social media profiles, and if this information falls into the wrong hands, it could be detrimental. Who would want to get charged for that? Would it even be worth it? I honestly do not think this is all worth the effort and trouble.
To play devil’s advocate, I can imagine the frustration that goes on. What if someone you loved dearly passed away and you wanted to access their social media? What if there was something that could have been stopped and they shared it with someone online, and since it could be considered “a crime,” you would not be able to access their account?
Is it all worth the hassle?
Other social media sites require a death certificate or a form to be filled out. Why all the hassle for just a social media account? In an article on CBC.ca written by RJ Skinner (2017), whoever has access to your social media account after your death, or if anyone has access to it, is totally up to you. Consider it your Social Media Will and Testament; you can pick and choose if you want someone to be your legacy, or you can choose for your account to be locked, forever.
What do you think of all this? Would you want someone to be your social media legacy, or do you not care if someone takes over your social media account?
Skinner, R.J. (2017). What happens to your social media accounts when you die is up to you. CBC. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/what-happens-to-your-social-media-accounts-when-you-die-is-up-to-you-1.4060609
Telegraph Financial Services. (2017). What happens to your social media accounts after you die? The Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/financial-services/retirement-solutions/funeral-plans/social-media-after-death/
Curious about what happens to your social media accounts after you pass on? Me, too. Click here to find out: https://bit.ly/2H14KRa
What will happen to your social media profile if you die? Click here to read and find out more: https://bit.ly/2H14KRa