January 19, 2016 5:25 pm
Updated: January 19, 2016 7:31 pm

What happens to your online presence when you die?

WATCH ABOVE: Logging into social media accounts and documenting your life is a daily task for many. But what happens when your time is up? Who should inherit your digital assets, including passwords? Ashley Carter brings us the answers.


It can be hard enough protecting your online privacy when you’re still alive, but what about your posts, photos and all that other personal info once you kick the bucket?

Twitter may auto-delete your account after six months of inactivity, but you’ll live on forever on other platforms unless a relative or law enforcement requests an account deletion.

Some sites, including Facebook and Instagram can also “memorialize” your page, which keeps the page alive but limits other certain other aspects, including what’s visible and shareable.

Story continues below

Here’s how different sites handle your profile after your passing.


Here’s a creepy thought: Facebook has over one billion users, meaning thousands die each day, and the day may come when dead members outnumber living ones. And that day may not be far off, either; Digital marketing firm WebpageFX crunched the numbers and figured Facebook could become a digital graveyard as early as 2065.

Account deactivation: only if requested or page is “memorialized.” Users can designate a “legacy contact” to administer the memorial page on their behalf. Without a legacy contact, your profile is locked and cannot be edited.

Required to deactivate: proof of immediate family relation.

READ MORE: Facebook is congratulating people on being friends for 46 years thanks to an error


Account deactivation: After six months of inactivity or by request.

Required to deactivate: user’s death certificate.


Account deactivation: by request.

Required to deactivate: proof of relation to user and link to obituary.


Account deactivation: by family member’s request.

Required to deactivate: documented proof of death, such as a death certificate, obituary, news article.


Account deactivation: by family member’s request or memorializing.

Required to deactivate: documentation proving family relation or authority to deactivate and/or proof of user’s death.

© 2016 Shaw Media

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.

Global News