Ever wonder what happens to Facebook after you die? I mean, your Facebook page? Unless you've given someone your account's password and instructions on what to do with it ... it just sits there. All of your party photos staring eerily out at the cyberworld while you are long gone. Hey, it's not like you have to worry about it anymore. But in some cases, it would be nice to deactivate the damn thing. Well, a New Hampshire state senator is introducing a bill that would allow estate executors to get into your Facebook account and decide what to do with it.
The senator, Rep. Peter Sullivan, tells the story of a Canadian girl who was being bullied on Facebook and eventually killed herself. Yet her bullying continued -- on her own page -- because her parents were locked out of it. That kind of thing could have been prevented if Facebook allowed her parents, as legal executors, to access her account.
This would be the first bill that deals with social media accounts after a user's death. Other bills, which have only been adopted in a few states, deal with email accounts.
Currently, Facebook's policy with deceased users is to "memorialize" the account. That continues to allow friends to post on your page. Verified family members are also allowed to remove the account, says Facebook policy. The company does not, however, give anyone access information.
As someone who has dealt with the estates of deceased family members, I can tell you it's a pain in the butt. Just trying to get one company to cancel my relative's Internet account was difficult enough. You'd think I was trying to get into Fort Knox, even though I had Power of Attorney. So I wonder how easy it is with Facebook.
I have a friend who has her entire social media death plan worked out. Her sister has all of her passwords, and my friend has composed exactly what she wants to go up on her accounts in the event of her untimely demise. Not a bad idea, really. The bill hasn't passed yet, so you might think about this plan -- but make sure you give your info to someone you completely trust!
One of my little worries is that I'll update with something stupid -- and then get hit by a cab. Which is why I TRY to make every update something I wouldn't be ashamed of having on Facebook for eternity. Though I'm not always successful. Sometimes I leave the house and think, Do I really have that up on Facebook? Will those be my last words?!
Have you ever had to deal with a dead person's Facebook account? Do you have a plan for yours?
Image via English106/Flickr