Tag: twitter

23 Oct

What Happens to Your Social Network Accounts upon Death?

Ian Hull Estate & Trust, Estate Litigation, Estate Planning, Uncategorized Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Business Insider recently reported that 2.1 billion people access at least one of the Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp or Instagram apps every day. That’s a little less than a third of the world’s population.

These platforms allow us to share various aspects of our lives. Some of us use them to document everything. But what happens to these accounts when a user passes away? Do their accounts remain on these platforms forever or can they be removed? Let’s take a look at four of the biggest social network platforms to see what their policies say.

Facebook

Facebook users have the option of having their account permanently deleted or appointing a legacy contact to look after their “memorialized account.” A legacy contact is someone who is chosen to oversee an account if it is memorialized. The legacy contact must be 19 years or older. They can accept friend requests on the deceased’s behalf, pin tribute posts and change the account’s profile picture and cover photo.

Key features of memorialized accounts include the following:

  • The word “Remembering” will appear next to the person’s name on their profile
  • No one can log into the account
  • The account will not appear in public spaces such as friend suggestions
  • Content that was shared on Facebook while the deceased was alive will remain visible to the audience it was initially shared with
  • Depending of the deceased’s privacy settings, friends of the deceased can share memories on the account’s timeline

Instagram

Similarly to Facebook, Instagram accounts can also be permanently deleted or memorialized upon request. To remove the account, the user must provide proof that they are an immediate family member of the deceased. Proof may include the deceased’s birth or death certificate or proof of authority that the individual is the lawful representative of the deceased person or their estate. In order to memorialize an account, proof of death such as a link to an obituary or news article is required. A memorialized Instagram account will not appear differently from an account that has not been memorialized.

Instagram’s memorialized accounts have the following key features:

  • No one can log into the account
  • Posts shared on the account stay on Instagram and will remain visible to the audience they were initially shared with
  • Changes will not be able to be made to any of the account’s existing posts or information

Unlike Facebook, a legacy contact cannot be appointed for a memorialized Instagram account.

LinkedIn

A colleague, classmate or loved one can request the removal of the deceased’s profile by filling out this form. The form requires several pieces of information such as the applicant’s relationship to the deceased, the link to the deceased’s obituary and the company the deceased most recently worked at.

Twitter

A verified immediate family member or someone who is authorized to act on behalf of the estate can request the removal of the deceased’s account. A request requires information about the deceased, a copy of ID from the individual making the request and a copy of the deceased’s death certificate.

Thanks for reading!

Ian M. Hull and Celine Dookie

01 Apr

Life was Easier Before the Digital Era…

Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

In the days prior to the evolution of the Internet, planning and administering an estate was relatively simple as the physical belongings of the deceased could be carefully sorted through, packaged, and divided according to the Deceased’s testamentary document or the applicable legislation.

In the days since the  Internet has become a common household tool, planning and administering an estate has not been so easy. In a study commissioned by Remember A Charity, The Dying in a Digital Age, it was discovered that four in five people own digital assets, but only nine per cent have considered how these will be distributed upon their death.

According to the study, the nation’s digital music collection is worth an estimated £900 million alone.

Three quarters of those surveyed for the study indicated that their digital music and photo collections had strong sentimental value, while eight out of ten said their digital assets were financially valuable.

Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity said: ”Bank accounts, music and photograph collections are increasingly stored online…meaning families will wave goodbye to a small fortune if details are not passed on.”

There is now an entire cyber existence that both the Deceased and Trustees need to turn their mind to when planning or administering an Estate. For instance, what will become of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and PayPal accounts? One easy solution is to subscribe to a website called Legacy Locker. Legacy Locker was created in 2009 and it maintains a master list of user names and programs for online bank accounts, social networking sites and document repositories. 

In the digital era, it is important that we consider and make arrangements for how our digital assets will be distributed, and for estate planners, it may be just as important that you consider including in your questionnaire or checklist, a question that forces a client to turn their mind to consider their digital assets. 

Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend.

Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.

19 Aug

Deceased User Policies: Twitter and Facebook

Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Social Media is not a fad and is fundamentally changing the ways we interact and communicate with others.  Two of the more popular social networking websites, Twitter and Facebook, recently implemented policies that set out guidelines regarding a user’s account once they have died.

Under Twitter’s policy, a person can either request that the deceased user’s account be removed entirely or receive an archive of all the deceased user’s tweets offline once they have provided Twitter with the following information:

1.                  Your full name, contact information (including e-mail address), and your relationship to the deceased user; 

 2.                  The username of the Twitter account, or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account.  

 3.                  A link to a public obituary or news article.

By comparison, Facebook provides two options: either removing the deceased’s account, or "memorializing" it.

Memorializing a person’s account “means the account lives on in Facebook’s system, and other Facebook members can interact with the deceased member’s wall. What’s interesting about what Facebook put into place, compared to Twitter, is that there’s still a great deal of emphasis put on privacy and what can be done with the information that user has posted to the service. For instance, only that user’s friends can still visit the profile or find it in Facebook’s public search tool. And Facebook goes so far as to remove all status updates and contact information.”

It is hard to imagine that Facebook and Twitter will remain an important part of our lives many years from now, but Facebook has grown from 300 million to 500 million users in less than a year, with few signs of that slowing down. This is an indication that “policies about a user’s death can end up being just as important as those you agree to when you first sign up.”

Thank you for reading, and have a great day.
 

Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.

 

13 May

Twittering Lawyers

Hull & Hull LLP New Media Observations Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

By now, almost everyone has heard about Twitter. Twitter is the micro-blogging social network that allows you to publish and read short messages of less than 140 characters (“tweets”). Twitter has over 10 million users and with all the recent media attention it seems like everyone is on twitter; celebrities, news agencies, municipalities, and corporations.

Some people think it’s a fad and others think that it is the new source for sharing information. It is difficult to predict what role Twitter has for lawyers in a professional capacity. Some lawyers are using Twitter to republish their blogs, build social networks, and access information. Other lawyers are not sold on the idea of Twitter. Click here  to hear a podcast by two lawyers debating both sides of the issue.

For lawyers deciding whether or not to Twitter or those who have already taken the plunge, Steve Matthews for slaw.ca has written a fantastic blog offering lawyers some dos and don’ts for using Twitter.

While Twitter has been around for awhile, it will be interesting to see if its new surge in popularity will affect the way the legal community views Twitter as a marketing tool.

Thanks for reading,

 Diane Vieira

 

 

 
 

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