So many of us are now engaging in ‘online life’: a platform for capturing special events, memories and images, and also a fantastic resource when planning a funeral service.
But what happens to your loved one’s social media accounts when they pass?
You and your family can decide whether to keep your loved one’s social media accounts open or to close them, depending on your personal wishes and the terms and conditions of the particular social media platform in question.
On Facebook, you can request to have your loved one’s account memorialized or permanently deleted. You can do this by contacting Facebook directly via the ‘contact us’ form or via the Help/Support function. You will be asked to provide proof of death and to verify yourself as an immediate family member.
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. Memorialised accounts have the following key features:
- The word ‘Remembering’ will be shown next to the person’s name on their profile
- Depending on the privacy settings of the account, friends can share memories on the memorialized Timeline
- Content the person shared (ex: photos, posts) stays on Facebook and is visible to the audience it was shared with
- Memorialized profiles don’t appear in public spaces such as in suggestions for People You May Know, ads or birthday reminders
- No one can log into a memorialized account and unless the account has a pre-nominated legacy contact, it cannot be changed.
To request memorialisation, click here.
A verified immediate family member or authorised estate representative may request the removal of the deceased’s account by contacting Facebook directly with the proof of death. To remove the account, click here.
If you’d like to create an additional place for people on Facebook to share memories of your loved one, you can create a closed group for this purpose.
In the event of the death of a Twitter user, Twitter’s customer service can work with a person authorised to act on the behalf of the estate or with a verified immediate family member to have an account deactivated. To request the removal of your loved one’s account, click here.
After you submit your request, you will be emailed instructions for providing more information, including information about the deceased, a copy of your ID, and copy of the death certificate. Twitter does not provide account access to anyone regardless of their relationship to the deceased.
LinkedIn can close a loved one’s account and remove their profile on your behalf. They require you to collate:
- The LinkedIn member’s name
- The URL to their LinkedIn profile
- Your relationship to them
- Member’s email address
- Date they passed away
- Link to obituary
- Company they most recently worked at
To start the process, LinkedIn requests you answer some questions about the person who has passed away by filling out this form. After you complete this form, LinkedIn customer service will review and revert to complete the profile removal process.
Similarly, to Facebook, you can request to have your loved one’s account memorialized or permanently deleted from Instagram.
To request an account to be memorialized, click here. They require proof of death to be provided at this time. Instagram does not provide login information for a memorialised account.
Verified immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account from Instagram. When you submit a request for removal, proof that you’re an immediate family member of the deceased person is required. To request that an account be removed, complete this form.
Google Account and associated media eg Gmail, G+
Google can work with immediate family members and estate representatives to close the account of a deceased person where appropriate. In certain circumstances, they can also provide content from a deceased user’s account. They do not provide passwords or other login details.
Google allows you to request the following options by clicking here:
- Close the account of a deceased user
- Submit a request for funds from a deceased user’s account
- Obtain data from a deceased user’s account
Pinterest can deactivate a loved one’s account if a family member gets in touch. No personal or login information is able to be provided.
To deactivate the account of a loved one, email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org with:
1. Your full name
2. The full name and email address on the loved one’s account
3. A link to their Pinterest account (ex: pinterest.com/USERNAME). If you don’t know this, try searching for it
4. Documentation of their passing (ex: death certificate, obituary, news article)
5. Your relationship to the person with documentation to verify it, such as a birth or marriage certificate, public
mention of relation, family tree, family/household records, notarised proof of relation or your name being
included in the obituary
Your email will be responded to in due course.
Snapchat does not currently have a discernable process for managing a deceased person’s account. Snapchat does not allow others to request the deactivation of a loved one’s account. You may delete your loved one’s accounts if they provide you with relevant access by way of their username and password, however this is discouraged by Snapchat as they claim that only the user should have access to their own account.
Hills Family Funerals can assist and advise our client families in identifying and closing their loved one’s social media accounts. Please speak to your arranger if you require this service.