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Good read of the day: Facebook and death

Should a person’s Facebook account be closed when he or she dies? If not, would you want to “hear” from a recently deceased user? From Sunday’s New York Times:

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, knows a lot about its roughly 500 million members. Its software is quick to offer helpful nudges about things like imminent birthdays and friends you have not contacted in a while. But the company has had trouble automating the task of figuring out when one of its users has died.

That can lead to some disturbing or just plain weird moments for Facebook users as the site keeps on shuffling a dead friend through its social algorithms. Facebook says it has been grappling with how to handle the ghosts in its machine but acknowledges that it has not found a good solution.

As Facebook grows ever more popular, it’s interesting how the issues get more complicated. I wonder if someday soon people will begin acknowledging social media “property” in wills.

Responses to "Good read of the day: Facebook and death"

Lisi says:

A friend of mine passed away a couple of years ago and her Facebook page is still active. I know I find it comforting, like she isn’t really gone. It also enabled her parents to get in touch with her friends since she went to school in another country.
Every once in a while it is nice to be reminded of someone you loved.

kidcapri73 says:

For many months I’ve had a friend request from a fellow who died unexpectedly. What makes it even more eerie is his profile page was a picture of Heath Ledger in full Joker makeup and character.