The growing population of Facebook users seems to have no end. But a new study wants to prove that more dead users will outnumber the living in about 50 years or so.
People are reminded of preserving our virtual memories and do not rely much on social media to keep them. Remember what happened to Multiply? Thousands of people lost access to photos and videos when they shut down. Facebook may not likely close in the next few decades, but our memories won’t have much purpose if left uploaded in a non-fashionable sense.
Mortality of Facebook Users
There seems to be an exponential growth in the number of Facebook users over the years. But a new study shows that it reached its tipping point in 2018. They have come to this conclusion after using the data from the United Nations. They also considered the population growth of people using the platform. The company continues to expand its reach and assets, but they expect more inactive users than living accounts at the onset of the 22nd century.
The study aims to inform people of the significance of digital heritage. There has to be some policy implemented for who handles digital loss and recovery.
The team highlights that they are not critiquing any social media platform. But they want people to be aware that each account is an invaluable part of the digital age. It will become useful for historians.
How Facebook Handles Dead Accounts?
Facebook released a statement saying that they have deep respect in conserving these memories especially that they are currently at the forefront when it comes to building a digital legacy. While they disagree with the study’s prediction, they want people to know that each digital life matters.
According to its help center, they have created a unique memorial profile for accounts of users reported to be dead by family members or friends. As they continue to grow, they aim to show people that they sympathize with the loss and try to help people cope with it.
Facebook users are encouraged to create a living will to who can access their account as they die. However, users below 18 years of age do not have access to this feature so parents of the deceased child will have to request access. This will require formal and proper documentation so abusive trolls won’t target living users.
The study wants to remind people that we have to be careful and to plan who gets to have access to our collective memories.