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Online Legacy Part 2/3 - Death on Twitter and LinkedIn

In a study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, data from more than 15,000 social media networks of people who died were examined during a 4 year period. They examined how people interacted on those networks both before and after a death. The result was that people are indeed now grieving ONLINE and use online channels to stay connected to networks of the deceased. Online death needs to be addressed, both in terms of our legacies left online, how we grieve online and how people can be negatively affected by online trolling during times of grief.



Gmail (Google email) and Hotmail allow the email accounts of the deceased to be accessed by the next-of-kin, if certain documents are provided and requirements are met, however, they make no guarantees. Yahoo! Mail (and thus Flickr) will not provide access, citing the ‘No Right of Survivorship and Non-Transferability’ clause in their terms of service.

For a Gmail account, if you are preplanning, their Inactive Account Manager is the best way to manage who should have access to your information and whether you want your account to be deleted.  Inactive Account Manager is a way for users to share parts of their account data or notify someone if they’ve been inactive for a certain period of time. More info here

In the event of someone’s death, Twitter will work with the next-of-kin or executor of the deceased's estate to have an account deactivated. When requesting removal of a deceased user’s account you will be asked to provide the following:

Deceased’s Twitter account username and the account owner
Your relationship with the user (next-of-kin/executor of the deceased's estate)
Your full name and email address
a copy of your ID
copy of the deceased’s death certificate

They will NOT give account access to anyone regardless of their relationship to the user. Requests on the removal of images or video of deceased individuals can also be made and will be assessed on case by case basis. More info here

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn does not have a thorough “death policy” but maintains a simple guide if you come across the profile of a deceased person and have:

Your relationship to the deceased
Their Name and URL to their LinkedIn profile
Their email address
The date they died and a link to their obituary
The company they were most recently working for

The only option on LinkedIn is account deletion. See more here




Jennifer Muldowney
Jennifer Muldowney

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