The Has Died, But Their Accounts on Social Networks Remain Active

He who thinks that with the arrival of death just everything, It is very wrong. And no, I am not speaking of believing or not in life after life, or in reincarnation (that since each one choose), but the profiles of social networks that are still active even after months or years of the death of their owners — and not always for things positive.

Been much of what happens with the profiles of social networking when you die, and when you reach the moment in which the number of dead in Facebook users exceeds of the living. But there is one point that escapes in all those articles, and profiles of social networks that are they are at the mercy of hackers, cybercriminals, spambots… or simply going to be managed by someone else – that I personally believe that it gives a bit of grima.

Profiles of famous, the most coveted

Logically, the most attractive profiles to hackers when choosing victim are the of famous personalities. With little or no respect for the death of the holder, there are few Twitter accounts, for example, which have passed into the hands of a hacker and have finished being showcase for advertising Tweets… or worse.

An example is found in the Twitter account of Peaches Geldof, journalist, model, TV presenter – and daughter of Bob Geldof. The girl died in April 2014 of an overdose of heroin, only 25 years old. A few months later, in his Twitter account, still active, appeared a tweet promoting a method for “burn fat” along with a link to Tumblr, to the horror of his family.

The account remains open today in day, but with restricted access.

The spam It is only one of the destinations that can be expected to the Twitter of a deceased person. Another possible ‘use’ is the turn profile in a pornbot, as it was the case with the account of David Carr, a famous reporter of the New York Times who died suddenly at the age of 58 in February 2015. Last may, its half a million followers received incredulous the next Tweet of the missing journalist:

I love sex and role playing games. We play?

Luckily, the Twitter team was fast and they soon regain access to the account of the journalist, but they were again heard criticism of the social network by the lack of a feature that allows keep accounts of dead people online, as a tribute, but without the possibility of access. The account of Carr remains online, but no activity from February 2015.

The most recent case of account-of-famous-hacked comes from makes just two days, and has as a victim to the Member of the Beatles George Harrison. The musician account, managed by the administrators of the legacy of the band, suffered the attack of a hacker who was limited to advertising of its services as Security Advisor online in the bio’s profile.

EH George, follow me at @j5zlol when you see this and send me a DM. We help you make your account more secure. I don’t want to hurt you any, thank you Uncle.

It seems that the hacker in question did not know that George Harrison could hardly send a DM from him from his grave, and someone had to rinse it. No more learning, @j5zlol hastened to apologize (from the account of own Harrison, which has its banter).

Obviously, one can say “but how could have George Harrison a Twitter account, if you died before Twitter existed?”. Well, apparently be alive following the launch of Twitter It is not absolutely necessary to have account on the social network, and thousands of followers. For example, today you can follow the active accounts of King Enrique VIII, Edgar Allan Poe, Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few.

Facebook accounts of dead people? Ideal for advertising!

But what happens in the case of people are not famous? Well, as they nor are they fought. They may not be so attractive at first sight, but they can also fall into the hands of hackers that are no respect for the memory of the deceased.

A case so is explaining this guy in 2014 in The Daily Dot, where was that a his coworker It began to follow him on Twitter after you have died. The account had become a kind of spambot capable of starting to follow new accounts – even the people who actually knew the deceased. The face of this guy to receive the message of “New follower” Twitter must have been all a poem.

So far we have spoken much of Twitter, but Facebook is not spared. A quick glance at the section of Help Facebook returns us dozens of messages from users, with friends or family, deceased members whose Facebook profiles have fallen into the hands of hackers. Cases like changes in the photos profile or header, publication of new photos in your profile, or the use of their personal image in Facebook ads are complaints that are repeated frequently.

“My friend Kayla falleció in November of 2012, “says one of those messages. “Never deleted your Facebook account, and this was intact until three months ago, I started to receive notifications from a such Khaleel Mohammed commenting on posts that had written about Kayla in the past and where it was tagged. Tag linking to your profile, but this has been fully modified by Khaleel. Your photos are still there, but the entire page is in another language, with the name and profile picture changed. The account published things of spam with thousands of comments. Reviews of Khalil who come from the Facebook of Kayla to relatives and friends are very annoying and disturbing…”

There’s (online) life after death

Fortunately, there are accounts of social networks that they survive to their owners originals of form quite a bit Honorable to become a nest of spam and ads of diets or sex. Such is the case, for example, of the film critic winner of a Pulitzer Prize Roger Ebert, who died in April of 2013, and whose account is still active in the hands of his widow, Chaz.

Ebert took more than 10 years battling cancer when he asked his wife that it developed in the administering your digital legacy When already was it not. A few weeks before his death, made him promise that he would keep their profiles on Facebook and Twitter open, that the updated frequently and I would write personal messages.

Image of Roger Ebert’s blog

“Roger tuiteaba as a teenager”, says his widow. “It was a great Communicator, and after losing his physical voice by disease, wanted to keep her voice alive online. For him it was important to communicate with your readers, and He relied on me to continue this connection”. Which, by the way, is an exception to the rule, since neither Twitter nor Facebook allow the access to the account of a deceased person – or even their families.

They say that one does not die at all as long as someone who remember it, and in that the famous carry us advantage to the rest of us (and no, it won’t with second). A great example of this is Paul Walker, the unfortunate actor died in a car accident in 2013. Your Twitter profile is now managed by the Foundation that bears his name, and stays totally active, for relief of its two million and a half followers.

The same goes for the Twitter profile of Michael Jackson that, almost seven years after his death, continues to publish tweets on a fairly regular basis. In fact, if you look at the date of account creation, this points to July 2009 – a month after the death of the artist – so it was already created as “features tribute” from the beginning, a function that, unlike Facebook, Twitter does not for deceased users.

The best: preparing the will

As I said at the beginning, many already know tools that some social networks and online services put at our disposal to leave everything ready when the time comes. Google, for example, has called “Inactive account manager”, While Facebook allows you to convert profiles of deceased persons in commemorative pages.

However, as for so many other things, best thing is be cautious and prepare for these things, Although it gives a bit of yuyu. Somehow, let everything ready on the digital side of our lives when we are no longer is a way to stay alive, not to die at all because there will always be who we remember thanks to a Tweet or a photo.

There are plenty of services that allow manage the “inheritance” accounts and profiles in online services, and in addition leave messages that it will only be sent when you died. For example, Deadsocial, Afternote, Knotify, Capsoole or Eter9, which reaches to create a clone our based on artificial intelligence to continue updating our social networking profiles when we have passed to better life. Disturbing, the less.

Lawrence Darani, user of one of these services, thus explained his experience to The Guardian: “when I was there looking at the camera [recording the video would be sent to the dying], I thought, my God, I am not only speaking to my children. I’m talking about my grandchildren, and all of my generation in the coming years. It will always be there, in the cloud. There is something comforting in that. You can be sure that the essence of what you are remains in Internet. You can beat to death”.