Minnesota, USA -August 9, 2011 - Under no circumstance will social networks such as Facebook or professional network Linkedin release any data such as username and password to anyone; if you truly have wishes when it comes to your social networking, it is essential to put this information in your will or give it to a family member who will keep it a secret until you pass away.Undoubtedly the pool of deceased individuals is starting to overflow in the social networking world. What can we do about this phenomenon It depends entirely on your wishes, so you better state them now or forever hold your peace! Do not be a part of the group of deceased people who appear to be alive and living well in the most recent job.
If your family members do not have your username and password, it does not mean that they cannot contact the social network to request a change of status to your page or ask for it to be deactivated. Most families like to keep these profile pages to act as a shrine or memorial. Surprisingly, Facebook will convert profile pages to "memorial status". In this new mode, there are increased privacy settings and portions such as recent statuses and interests are removed from the page completely. Typically the most recent posts are the most revealing of someone's struggles, so deleting these helps preserve the 'real' individual that everyone knew.
Both Facebook and Linkedin handle 'death notices' in the same way; they contact a local entity which can verify that the individual has indeed passed away. After this, the social networks typically contact the family for them to help determine what happens to the profile. In most cases, Linkedin deletes the profile since it was only used for professional networking purposes. Yet, the individual can still have life in Facebook.
Linkedin nor Facebook have a team that is dedicated to detecting deceased individuals; this means that it is up to you to contact these networks if you are concerned about anyone you know who passed away. If you want your accounts to be handled in a different way, specify it in your will because this is a legal document which social networks would need to obey. As much as the individual on the other end of the line may want to respect your family wishes, it cannot due to the 'social networking giants'.
On a personal note, I would love for my profile to keep living forever; all of my words are there for me to be remembered more clearly. Our memories over time become less vivid and this may be avoided if everything is 'fresh' forever.