Delivery Worldwide

Online Legacy Part 3/3 - Death on Instagram and Snapchat

Social media platforms can be used to communicate online the details of a funeral service, receive sympathy messages from those abroad who cannot get home for a service and to mourn a loved one online. Displaying photos of the deceased, their recipes, songs, art or photos on Facebook, Instagram,

Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube can provide comfort to some.

Instagram’s ‘death policy’ aligns closely to that of its parent company, Facebook. Users’ accounts can either be memorialized or removed BUT unlike Facebook, where you can decide pre-demise which YOU would prefer Instagram leaves it up to your loved ones to decide on how you should be remembered.

Similar to Facebook a Memorialized account will not show up in public spaces or suggested searches. To memorialize an Instagram account you need to provide:
  • Fill out a form on their site
  • Their name and username
  • Their email address
  • Date they died and a link to their obituary

The other option is toPermanently Remove an Instagram Account. Only verified immediate family members are able to make a request for removal of the account. Upon submitting a deletion request, Instagram requires individuals present proof of immediate family relation, which would be the deceased person’s birth certificate, death certificate or “proof of authority under local law that you are the lawful representative of the deceased person, or their estate.” More info here

According to Bloomberg, there are 150 million people using Snapchatevery day and YET Snpachat has failed to provide any ‘death policy’. The ONLY current method of memorializing or deleting your Snapchat account upon your demise is providing a loved one with your login and password. NOT something many people are comfortable doing BUT if you have this information and want to delete then….

First, log into Snapchat here, with the person’s username and password. Then simply check the box confirming you are not a robot, click submit, re-enter the username and password and click continue. After following these steps an account is deactivated for 30 days, which involves individuals not being able to interact in any way with the person on Snapchat. Then after the 30 days, the account will be permanently deleted.

As always my suggestion is PREPLAN!!!!

Other issues in the online space include:
  • Access to the deceased’s email accounts and subscription sites: Do you have the necessary user/account names and passwords? If you have usernames and passwords, it will make account access and deletion much easier. If not, there is still the option of contacting the service providers as mentioned above; 
  • Blog posts: People blog for both personal and business reasons and a regular action online is to ‘schedule’ your blog posts so that they are spaced out over the course of a month or a year. However, if posts are scheduled to appear after the person’s death, this can cause discomfort, pain and upset if regular readers receive blog posts posthumously;
  • Online business revenue: Whether this is online advertising revenue, eBay sales, Paypal accounts or other, you should inform the deceased’s solicitor and accountant, as well as whoever is taking responsibility for the deceased’s business affairs;

Jennifer Muldowney
Jennifer Muldowney