Social Media : Do Not Enter without an EXIT Plan

Social Media : Do Not Enter without an EXIT Plan …  This idea (hence, this post) was prompted by the recent but belated discovery that a connection that I had for over four decades had passed away three years ago without my knowledge.

While I was curious why his social media sites on LINKEDIN and TWITTER were void of updates for some time, little did I realize that his not being alive any longer was the reason.  Logical enough, but how would I have known without notification from someone else?  He had remarried and moved out of state and I had retired about that same time in January 2010.  Hence, while our social media links remained, they became dormant and useless.

Most of us don’t think about this reality.  We also don’t plan for others to either manage, assume control, or erase our social media or Internet footprints after we are gone.

This is of specific concern for individuals, but it rises to a different level for corporations and organizations.  In the case of my friend, his firm was and is still well- and primarily-identified on his social media sites.

Through a mutual friend, I contacted a principal still with the former firm of the deceased to find that the organization was not aware of these residual footprints for their former partner.  The firm has effected the closing of the deceased account, but I am curious how many others are so afflicted with this type of problem?

The moral of the story may be that don’t plan to have a social media ENTRY policy unless you also have an EXIT PLAN, even if that is not prompted by a death, just a change of interests.

Also read …

How to 'memorialize' a web site

FACEBOOK and other major social media networks do have policies to memorialize pages and content. How does it work? }:{ alt@link }:{


VIRTUAL MEMORIALS  }:{  from HuffPost 16.Jan.2013

Story source Anthony Dowdell of New Jersey is just one of an estimated 30 million people whose virtual profiles on Facebook have outlived them.

By the end of this year, 3 million Facebook users’ pages will have become memorial sites for their owners, according to calculations by Nate Lustig, the founder of Entrustet, an online company that helps people access and delete online accounts after someone dies. Lustig arrived at the number by culling data on the total number of Facebook users, their ages and geographic distribution, and international death rates.

  • According to the post, “there are clear rules for how next of kin can inherit or delete accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and the countless other online manifestations of ourselves that have proliferated. Usually, family members have to submit an obituary, news article or death certificate to verify the user is dead. But unless there’s a request, the rules on death are rarely enforced on social networks. Facebook allows only the living user of a registered account to have access to it — families can’t get full access to profiles unless there’s documented instruction from the deceased. In a rare case in June, a Wisconsin couple obtained a court order for Facebook to give them access to the personal messages in their 23-year-old son’s account after he committed suicide.”

How to ‘memorialize’ a web site