Website Wills: what happens to your facebook when you die?

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You are going to die. What happens is generally written in a will, and than given to your family. But, what about your internet life.

What about you World of Warcraft account that people spend endless 20 hour sessions on?
What about popular websites?
Who gets rid of your Facebook account when you die? How do they know that your dead?
What about if you take a cool photo put it on Facebook, who owns your rights?

Let’s start with Facebook:

This could be a great way for you to get all your privacy off Facebook.

Max Kelly, Facebook’s head of security, announced the company’s policy of “memorializing” profiles of users who have died, taking them out of the public search results, sealing them from any future log-in attempts and leaving the wall open for family and friends to pay their respects.

To discourage pranksters, Facebook does require proof before sending a profile down the digital river Styx. Family or friends must fill out a form, providing a link to an obituary or other information confirming a user’s death, before the profile is officially memorialized. Once that is completed, the user will cease showing up in Facebook’s suggestions, and information like status updates won’t show up in Facebook’s news feed, the stream of real-time user updates that is the site’s centerpiece. If relatives prefer not to have the profile stand as an online memorial, Facebook says it will remove the account altogether.

Citation

Gmail and Hotmail allow the email accounts of the deceased to be accessed, provided certain requirements are met. Yahoo! Mail will not provide access, citing the No Right of Survivorship and Non-Transferability clause in the Yahoo! terms of service. In 2005 Yahoo! was ordered by the Probate Court of Oakland County, MI to release emails of deceased US Marine Justin Ellsworth to his father, John Ellsworth.

It’s just really interesting to me that wills will have to have to have a whole new page. I don’t know how you can value so much intellectual property. I know when I did, nobody better write on my wall. I do give Luke Ruth permission to go on my profile three days after I die and change my status to “Pulled a Jesus!”

Hope you found this interesting.

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