Siouxsie on Social Networking from Beyond the Grave

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Photo Credit: Flickr User Sweet Girl©

Facebook recently announced their policy about the accounts of users who have died.  As reported in Time, Facebook did this because of complaints that people were receiving “suggestions” via Facebook’s new homepage to “reconnect” with friends who had died.

Facebook’s policy is simple:  a family member can either make a request to memorialize the account or Facebook will remove it.  If a family chooses Facebook memorialization, the Facebook profile is frozen and removed from search results; and the wall is left open for friends and family to pay their respects.

Siouxsie can think of a number of problems with this Facebook policy.  For one, what if the user didn’t want a memorialized page at all; or, what if the user’s last profile picture was of them dressed as Lady Gaga for Halloween (just sayin’)?

And shouldn’t the deceased Facebook user have a shot at their final status update?  Maybe a short-and-sweet  “is dead”; or, a more lighthearted “gone fishing”; or, “Eeek!  There’s no light!” Siouxsie’s preferred choice.

What about posting a final song?  Perhaps, the Frank Sinatra or Sid Vicious version of “My Way.”  Or maybe, the Jam’s “Going Under Ground.”  Or even, Daft Punk’s “One More Time.”

All of this highlights the need for people to think about their digital legacy as a part of  their end-of-life planning.

So what is a walking corpse like you supposed to do?  Siouxsie is here to help.

Make sure someone has your passwords and can execute your wishes.  You can do this old school, and  simply give the information to a spouse/partner/mistress, relative or even an attorney.  Or, for a small fee, try Legacy Locker, which boasts “the safe and secure way to pass your online accounts to your friends and loved ones.”   Legacy Locker even features a wonderfully convenient report-a-passing button on their homepage.  When a user dies, press the button and all the information is delivered to the appropriate beneficiary.  Legacy Locker also provides for e-mail messages to be sent from beyond the grave, if you so desire.  (Apparently, Legacy Locker is not the only one trying to cash in on your digital demise.  There are other companies that, for a weekly fee, will provide similar beyond the grave services.)

If you choose not to pre plan, be warned:  many companies (including Google and Microsoft) have a policy of keeping your data after your death and allowing your next of kin to access it.  This includes all of your e-mails, search results or any other services you had with these companies.  Take it from Siouxsie, you do not want your friends and relatives seeing this stuff (you know what Siouxsie is talking about).

Your life will end, but your digital legacy can go on.  Take a few minutes and plan it out.  Or else.

Courts have yet to rule on issues of whether one’s digital legacy is part of the deceased’s estate.   Stay tuned.

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~ by siouxsielaw on November 7, 2009.

4 Responses to “Siouxsie on Social Networking from Beyond the Grave”

  1. […] on Social Networking from Beyond the Grave [UPDATE] A few months back, Siouxsie blogged about the some issues involved with social networking after your […]

  2. I d like to get a domme like this one ! More posts like this?

  3. […] previously blogged about social networking from beyond the grave here.  Click on the link to read about some additional ways you can use social media even if you are […]

  4. […] Gray Lady posted on Cyberspace When You Are Dead.  Siouxsie has written about this topic before:  HERE and HERE.  We are all going to die.  But, your digital life may  live on.  Facebook Twitter […]

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