Social media after death is, we gotta admit, a bit of a gray area — statistically, some of us heavy users are going to kick it earlier than we’d expected, and the fate of our social media lives is not something we can readily plan for … enter Google.
When it comes to social media after death, it’s pretty safe to say inconsistency is the largest, overriding theme. Facebook might convert your wall to a memorial (which only happens if they find out and the feature only removes your posts, which is incredibly depressing and weird), and there’s no real way to prevent people from taking over your accounts when you’ve gone on to the hereafter.
Google has presented a novel way to handle social media after death, with a new, less morbid distinguisher — Inactive Account Manager.
Far better than my friend Katie’s suggestion she surreptitiously travel to my house with a magnet, Google’s Inactive Account Manager (described in the above linked Google public policy blog post) will also eradicate your traces from their tentacles of the cloud — or forward them on, if you wish.
The search giant says:
… you can choose to have your data deleted — after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube.
The post continues:
Before our systems take any action, we’ll first warn you by sending a text message to your cellphone and email to the secondary address you’ve provided.
While such initiatives are really in their planning stages, it would be interesting to see if other companies follow Google’s lead (cough cough Facebook cough), and implement a way to delete all our sexts if a dangling crane falls on us tomorrow.