Statistically if you congregate a large number of people together at the one time, someone might die (cruise ship). So what happens if you are in a group of a billion people and you suddenly die. Does your Facebook/Twitter/Foursquare accounts die with you?
No social network will remove an account on the basis it has become inactive. Instead there are some steps for your next of kin to take to prove your death. It must also be noted that no social network will ever reveal a username and password to another user or next of kin.
The following steps are for a next of kin or executor of the deceased estate:
- Locate the deceased’s Twitter handle (@abc)
- Get a copy of a death certificate
- A copy of your drivers licence/power of attorney
- An action request in writing such as “Please delete the account permanently”
- Any other proof like a link or copy of an obituary
- Email address to continue communication
- Send everything to Twitter, INC. c/o: Trust & Safety 1355 Market St, Suite 900, San Francisco
- The network encourages that a profile is ‘Memorialised” rather than deleted. To memorialise an account go to https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/?id=305593649477238 . Facebook takes false claims seriously and will pursue them under the penalty of perjury.
- Full name of the deceased
- Email address of the deceased
- Facebook URL of the deceased
- Your relationship to them
- Proof – link to an article or obituary
- Once the account has been converted to a memorialised account, it cannot be searched for, all sensitive information is removed and it will no longer receive friend requests
And to remove a loved ones Facebook account:
- A copy of the deceaseds birth and death certificate
- All the information above
- Entered here https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/?id=228813257197480
Google and G+
- Google is a bigger deal as its bigger than just Google + but includes email, calendar and pretty much everything the deceased trusted Google with. Google will however under special circumstances not only remove accounts, but provide access to another user. Especially useful when closing up someones affairs. Of course there are many checks and balances for this, but well done Google for offering this.
- Here are the steps – https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=14300
- Notify customer service immediately and complete this form (http://help.linkedin.com/ci/fattach/get/739866/0/filename/Verification%20of%20Death%20Form.doc)
- Submit the form here – http://help.linkedin.com/app/ask/path/vodfs
They require a court order and put simply make closing a loved ones affairs extremely difficult.
Hopefully Yahoo passes away before you do 🙂
It may be easier to keep a record of all your usernames and password, and attach them to your Will to be executed when you die. Its much easier to delete your own account than having someone else do it for you.