Facebook confronting the problem of dead users’ active profiles

Pin it

Back in its early days, Facebook didn’t have to worry about the problem of users who died while their profiles lived on; everyone was in college, so barring a small number of unexpected tragedies, everyone would be alive for a good long time. But now that everyone and their great aunt Mabel is on the social networking site, more and more of these ghost profiles are cropping up. So what happens to these pages if someone dies? According to the New York Times, this:

Following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, members begged the company to allow them to commemorate the victims. Now member profiles can be “memorialized,” or converted into tribute pages that are stripped of some personal information and no longer appear in search results. Grieving friends can still post messages on those pages.

Of course, nobody really knows about that. I happen to be Facebook friends with a few people who’ve passed, and from what I’ve seen they’ve all had their pages taken down except one. Which is, to my mind, the better option, as I wouldn’t want people to get urged on by Facebook to "poke" me a year after I died in a horrible yet delicious quesadilla accident. (My preferred way to go.)

Readers, what would you want for your page: deletion, or having it become an eternal monument to your personality and whatever miscellanea you were up to the Tuesday before you kicked the bucket?