Facebook Currently Has an Estimated 30 Million Dead Users
We know where our physical bodies go once we die, but what happens to an individual's digital footprint once they pass away?
Good Trust, a leader in the death tech industry, estimates there are more than "30 million dead people on Facebook," with accounts of deceased users still showing millions of photos, status updates and opinions on the Kardashians.
According to Wired, Good Trust CEO Rikard Steiber has personally invested time in figuring out what to do with this massive digital graveyard, as it seems to be an afterthought for many social media users.
In fact, a Good Trust survey revealed "some 90 percent of people here in the U.S. have no plans whatsoever" as to "what happens to the digital stuff" after they die, according to Steiber.
That means all those cherished photos in your iCloud, or those Bitcoin assets you may have tucked away, could potentially be lost forever when you kick the proverbial bucket.
Companies such as Good Trust claim to help keep your digital assets in order and pass them down after you perish.
Meanwhile, according to Facebook's guidelines, a person's account becomes "memorialized" after they die.
"If Facebook is made aware that a person has passed away, it's our policy to memorialize the account," the social media giants site reads. "Memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away. Memorializing an account also helps keep it secure by preventing anyone from logging into it."
Yet in 2019, Twitter revealed it would begin deleting accounts of inactive users as they cannot agree to updated policy terms. The decision sparked backlash as many people were upset at the thought of losing a loved one's digital remains.
However, there is also the looming creepy notion that AI bots may one day be able to interact with the loved ones of the deceased by adopting the dead users' mannerisms, chat styles and digital personalities to interact as authentically as possible.
We're pretty sure there's a Black Mirror episode about that scenario, come to think of it...