To whom it may concern: Please delete my Facebook account upon my death

I know they say that everything lives forever on the Internet but for bloggers and people involved in producing content this isn’t always the case. There will come a point in the future where those sites we have doted over and poured our blood, sweat and tears into will disappear. At some point hosting fees won’t get paid, databases will get corrupted, or hosting companies will either disappear into other companies or just disappear.

No, nothing will last as evidenced by the closure of GeoCities today by Yahoo – that is unless you have a Facebook account. Yup apparently your account can be marked as Deceased so that only your friends (?) can see your page and you won’t turn up in any search results. So in effect you become immortalized and forever available for people who added you as a friend at a time before you were six feet under.

facebook-deceasedThe reasoning for this option according to Facebooker Max Kelly is

The question soon came up: What do we do about his Facebook profile? We had never really thought about this before in such a personal way. Obviously, we wanted to be able to model people’s relationships on Facebook, but how do you deal with an interaction with someone who is no longer able to log on? When someone leaves us, they don’t leave our memories or our social network. To reflect that reality, we created the idea of “memorialized” profiles as a place where people can save and share their memories of those who’ve passed.

We understand how difficult it can be for people to be reminded of those who are no longer with them, which is why it’s important when someone passes away that their friends or family contact Facebook to request that a profile be memorialized. For instance, just last week, we introduced new types of Suggestions that appear on the right-hand side of the home page and remind people to take actions with friends who need help on Facebook. By memorializing the account of someone who has passed away, people will no longer see that person appear in their Suggestions.

When an account is memorialized, we also set privacy so that only confirmed friends can see the profile or locate it in search. We try to protect the deceased’s privacy by removing sensitive information such as contact information and status updates. Memorializing an account also prevents anyone from logging into it in the future, while still enabling friends and family to leave posts on the profile Wall in remembrance.

Sorry but … Not!

Look when I am gone from this ball of dirt the only one’s that I want to remember me – good or bad – are the people who are people that I have known in real life. It is those people whose memories that I hope to always be a part of but those are the same people who don’t need some page that means nothing after I am gone.

They are the people who share a happy memory of our life’s intersection with another friend over a beer. Those are the people who will laugh or curse at a memory of something we had done together. They are the people who will be buried with those memories just as it should be.

There is an endpoint to everything in our world and our presence on the web is no difference. Just as we fade away from this world as memories fade into the past so should our footprint on the web. Everything comes to an end.

So for the record Facebook – please delete me when I die.

image credit: Boing Boing

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