What happens to your Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok and Twitter accounts when you pass away?

The loss of a loved one is a time of great stress for any of us.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 3:24 pm

You have to think about planning a funeral and other arrangements.

But in the modern age, there are other things to consider after someone has passed that you wouldn’t have had to think about just 20 years ago.

Such as what should happen to social media accounts after a person is gone.

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The icons of social media apps, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and WhatsApp displayed on a mobile phone. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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Here is what you need to know:

What happens to your social media accounts when you die?

Each site has their own guidelines for what to do when a user dies, a problem which grieving families may have to go through.

Facebook have a policy where accounts can be turned into a memorial page if you apply.

Account names will be prefaced with ‘remembering,’ with all uploaded posts and photos remaining visible.

A ‘legacy contact’ can be named, who will look after your memorial page and do things such as responding to friend requests and writing pinned posts.

The profile itself won’t be shared in public spaces such as in suggested people you may know.

No posts or photos can be deleted though, as legacy contacts can’t log into the account itself, but you can arrange for your Facebook profile to be deleted entirely after your death.

As Instagram is owned by Facebook themselves, they have similar rules.

Relatives and friends of the deceased can have their account turned into a memorial page, if a death certificate, online news article or obituary is presented.

Family members cannot log into the account, but they can apply for the page to be removed entirely.

These memorial options aren’t currently available on Twitter, with the only solution being for an account to be removed entirely.

TikTok also don’t appear to have any formal procedures for memorialising accounts.

They have a contact form where you can request for the profile to be deleted, though further documentation may be required.

A clearer option would be to leave instructions for loved ones to remove the account after you pass on.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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