A lot of people wonder what will happen to their social media accounts and files after they die, and more companies and communities are getting involved in the process.
As social media grows older, the number of dead people on social media grows too.
The webcomic-cum-public research source "What If?" on xkcd.com estimates there will be more dead people on Facebook by 2065 than alive people, assuming the website loses momentum in how many users are signing up. They claim the amount of people dying who have Facebook accounts will double every seven years for the foreseeable future.
"We have entered this time as a society where we're a bit ahead of our laws and our policies with respect to our digital property," Evan Carroll, who runs a blog about people's digital existence, told CBS. He says some people are putting what they want done with their social media and computer files in their will. The CBS story shares the experience of John Berlin, who wanted his son's memorial video from Facebook when his son died, but he didn't have access to the account. He made a YouTube video pleading Facebook for the video and got enough attention for them to grant his wishes.
In 2012, Louise Parker's 19-year-old daughter died of a brain tumor, and she found solace in checking her daughter's Facebook. Eventually, Facebook blocked her from accessing the page citing privacy rights.
Social media companies are in an awkward position regarding deceased users' profiles. They can't violate their own privacy restrictions but have no way to know what access, if any, their dead users intended to leave to the living.
Some companies are setting up services where passwords can be sent to a third party after accounts remain inactive for a certain amount of time. Other services help delete all inactive accounts.
"The number one thing I would recommend you do is you make sure your family knows [your] wishes, and they know where your files are stored," Evan Carroll told CBS.