The issue of death and how to deal with it has already come to social media, with a number of social media sites having policies on how to deal with dead members, notifying the dead person's friends, allowing people to memorialize the dead, and so on.
But a new problem has been cropping up. With Facebook adding reminders to people to get in touch with their friends, it's inevitable that people have been getting some of these from beyond the grave, so to speak.
It happened to me last summer; a few days after a friend died tragically in a car accident, I got a Facebook message, chirping at me that I should "Reconnect with him!" Sigh. I wish I could.
"Facebook says it has been grappling with how to handle the ghosts in its machine but acknowledges that it has not found a good solution," reported the New York Times. "“It’s a very sensitive topic,” said Meredith Chin, a company spokeswoman, “and, of course, seeing deceased friends pop up can be painful.” Given the site’s size, “and people passing away every day, we’re never going to be perfect at catching it,”" she told the paper.
Because Facebook had started out being for college students, death hadn't typically been a problem, but it's going to be more likely, the Times said. "People over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone, three times as many as in May 2009, according to the research firm comScore," the paper reported. "People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse."
The solution to this problem really is very hard to find. Adding an option of "This person is dead" would be very insensitive, and no friend or family member would want to delete that person's account from any networking site.
but then theirs the question of what to do once you have a 'dead list'
(just for a second assuming that you could match an obituary dbs world wide to each profile and avoid missing people due to naming errors such as more than one person having said name or said person not using their real name onsite)
yeah i mean removing them from prompts etc would be fairly easy but as the article said a gravestone replacing the profile might be deemed inappropriate (i know thats a daft suggestion but i honestly can't think of something more reasonable) also what of 3rd party applications id hate to see the farmvil gifts pilling up after I'm gone.
its a doozie for sure, the only solution i could see being workable is a consensus type m.i.a./inactive/dead status for profiles through family ties it'd probably suffer abuse all the same but i don't see a way for facebook to reliably determine this on their own
How about if FB sends out a message for us to reply to so that they would know that we are Alive enough to respond...and should no response be received within a prescribed time period (say about 1-2 months), then this account should be labelled as INACTIVE (not DEACTIVATED)...therefore the "Reconnect with him!" trigger would not pull any INACTIVE accounts...whereas, if you are alive, but haven't touched base with your FB account for a while and it was labelled INACTIVE, then upon logging in, it will automatically be re-instated as an ACTIVE account...
humm a pretty good suggestion (tho i can see a bunch of people setting up auto responds leading to a fail one day) it occurs to me that surely this isn't the first time the wed's encountered this problem, surely people that have email accounts that switch to auto respond (vacation mode) wouldn't this be similar to reviving a immediate reply?
how does yahoo and gmail cope with that? maybe its just less prominent as its in response not out of the blue and theres no pictures attached usually, i was watching the news and there was this story on a solider who lost his legs in Afghanistan or wherever (not that i dont have respect for the armed forces just dont pay that much attention and suck at geography) and his finance found out on facebook (messages of condolence) (the family where on their way to tell her)
A SOLUTION TO CONFIRMING DEAD FACEBOOK USERS
Facebook has a problem, eFarewell has the solution… why aren’t they listening?
In 2009 eFarewell.com was launched, it's the 1st and only website that allows users to leave a final farewell message with video, text & images that remain safely locked until after their death, with a pending patent on the technology and system platform for this functionality. The technology of eFarewell.com could offer FB with the solution to their problem. We have created an automated way to identify a deceased individual without the aid of a death cert., obituary, or any other physical document of the like. We have previously contacted FB to offer this solution, but attempts to contact have gone unanswered. Their users would be able to leave exactly what it is they want visitors to see after they have passed away, providing security of content and releasing Facebook of privacy liability issues.
I agree, and admit that there is other sites out there that offer an "after death" type notice, however, eFarewell is unique and has developed the technology that has the ability to automatically determine if the FB user is deceased, which would eliminate any potential "mistakes". FB has simply neglected to acknowledge that this technology exists.
The website doesn't have the number of members or traffic that you are probably hoping to hear, due to its infancy, but it's the true uniqueness, convenience, security, and simplicity of how users messages are stored and automatically unlocked following his or her death that will eventually promote itself.
11. How is my eFarewell Video Message unlocked after I have passed away?
Your eFarewell Video is Vaulted material which will be unlocked upon eFarewell’s confirmation of your passing based on verifying your PII with the Social Security Administration, your Death Certificate, and/or your Obituary.