Deadly serious about social media

As we spend more of our lives on social  networks, it only makes sense to ask: what happens to our social media accounts when we die?

A start up called Dead Social has taken this a step further, by developing a tool that will enable people to store Facebook, Twitter and GooglePlus messages, for distribution after death. See the explanatory video below:

This was discussed on Michael Smyth’s ABC Drive show yesterday. Some very clever  callers pointed out the dangers of such a service, including hurtful messages that someone may store for later posting, when they’re not around to face the music.

Dead Social pitches itself at the celebrity market, as this YouTube clip explains:

But what about the non-celebs who might sign up? Those who aren’t keeping a celebrity estate earning money, but have more personal reasons for using Dead Social? As with so much on social media platforms, the quality of the content will dictate how well this works.

If you have a marvellous black sense of humour,  but also some warmth in your soul, and a good turn of phrase: your tweets from beyond the grave might delight readers. They may be a way to continue to encourage loved ones, to jibe them, and give them heart.

Alternatively, if your skills and maturity levels are lacking, your tweets from beyond the grave may be vindictive, hurtful or even nonsensical. I  suppose when you’re dead, you can’t be embarrassed by a spelling mistake.

Dead Social is in Beta phase and it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out. Some questions I have:

  1. Can a deceased person’s posts be defamatory? What recourse does someone have, if post via Dead Social slanders them?
  2. Will the posts be earmarked as coming via Dead Social?
  3. Will family and friends be forewarned about someone signing up to use Dead Social? It’d be an awful surprise to get a message from someone you’ve just seen put into their grave.

In the meantime, remember that platforms like Facebook and Twitter do have mechanisms in place should you want to report that a user has died. With Facebook, you have the ability to ‘memorialise’ an account.

Memorialise an account on Facebook
Memorialise an account on Facebook

With Twitter, you can notify the platform that an account holder is deceased and they will deactivate the account – given enough evidence, as outlined in the Twitter screenshot below.

Deactivate a deceased person's Twitter account
Deactivate a deceased person's Twitter account

What are your thoughts on Dead Social? Dead keen, or dead against?

5 thoughts on “Deadly serious about social media

  1. I find this so bizarre… I guess there’s a place for it and obviously some people will really go for it – but will there be any kind of timelines/checks put in place? For example, I can’t imagine that if someone set up this say in their early 20’s, would they want to send the same messages to the same people as if they set it up say in their 40’s/later in life?

    Imagine this situation in particular regarding relationships. 30 year old female sets up this account, including lovey messages to husband. 20 years later they divorce… 20 years later she dies, and ex-husband’s wall is plastered in messages ‘from the grave’. What would he/his new wife/his family make of that?!

    Great post as usual Prakky – thought provoking.

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