How Many Dead Profiles Will Haunt Facebook?

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The dead are estimated to outnumber the living in the digital world by 2070, numbering somewhere between 1.4 billion and 4.9 billion, according to a new study by Carl J. Öhman and David Watson from the University of Oxford. Regardless of whether a conservative or liberal scenario is employed, both Asia and Africa will have the highest number of deceased individuals on Facebook in the coming years. 

The rise of the digital dead is increasingly becoming an issue as more people begin to live their lives online, leaving behind a digital life as much as a physical one. Over the past four years, Facebook has been grappling with how to appropriately deal with profiles of dead users, trying to ensure that the friends of deceased users do not get Birthday notifications or invite suggestions from their deceased friend. Recently, the social network rolled out a memorial tab, which allows people to designate legacy contacts who can curate posts, modify tag settings, change or cover photos, pin posts, and respond to friend requests. Legacy contacts are not able to read private messages or remove friends or make new ones.

Infographic: How Many Dead Profiles Will Haunt Facebook? | Statista

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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Stephen,
I was aware of the Memorial Tab feature.  I'll have to check that out for my husband's account. 

May 07, 2019 05:37 AM #1
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Interesting. I do still get Facebook messages about birthdays for people who have died; it would be great if those did not pop up anymore.

May 18, 2019 04:12 AM #2
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

This is a very interesting situation.  I have certainly seen some notifications on people that are dead.

May 18, 2019 04:25 AM #3
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I did not know about the Memorial Tab... will need to go take a closer look at it.

May 18, 2019 05:07 AM #4
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I did know about the memorial tab. It is a great idea to help relatives deal with the loss or just memorialize a loved one. After all, we all want to revisit past memories especially with those who are no longer here to create new memories with us. 

May 18, 2019 08:24 AM #5
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is an important topic. I regularly discover deceased Facebook friends as I receive birthday notices.

We have the same issue on ActiveRain where nothing has been done to designate deceased members.

May 18, 2019 09:14 AM #6
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Maybe FB can simply delete an account when they sense no activity for a particular length of time...

May 19, 2019 07:55 AM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I was not aware of the Memorial Tab and will have to investigate further. Your post does make one think about the importance of designating how you want you social media accounts handled when you die, and by whom.


May 19, 2019 11:36 AM #8
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I found this fact shocking "The dead are estimated to outnumber the living in the digital world by 2070, numbering somewhere between 1.4 billion and 4.9 billion". 

Jun 13, 2019 12:24 PM #9
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Stephen Fells

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