A new study shows that over 400,000 US Facebook users and 1.78 million international members will die in 2011. Of course, in comparison to Facebook's growing numbers, this is a small amount. But what happens to your social networks after death? Can you appoint someone to shut them down or transfer ownership to a living relative? The good news is you can create a social network will so the loved ones you leave behind know what to do with your online personality, but what about those of us who don't take that extra step before kicking the bucket?
Find out what happens to our social networks after death, and how to handle them after someone you love passes after the break.
- Twitter — Twitter just rolled out a new death policy, allowing a close friend or relative to back up or close the account of the deceased with a link to a public obituary and your contact information.
- Facebook — You can request that a Facebook profile be deleted or memorialized. Memorializing the page will allow sensitive info to be wiped clean, while the wall remains intact for friends and family to leave comments.
- Gmail — The next of kin can gain access to the deceased's Gmail account by faxing or mailing confirmation of your identity and proof of death to Gmail user support.
- MySpace — You can delete or memorialize a deceased user's MySpace profile if you are the next of kin, but you won't be allowed access to edit or change any of the content.
- Ebay — You can request an Ebay account be closed due to death by sending a copy of the death certificate via fax.
- LinkedIn — Fill out LinkedIn's Verification of Death forms, and either email or fax them back to the company.