I know, this is a depressing subject, but unfortunately people do pass and their social profiles just sit out there unless someone takes care of it. For social media profiles, it can be a painful reminder or a shock to someone. For email, it can mean missing bill payments or incurring unnecessary fees. In an article I read from 2010 it claimed that 1.5M people die each year on Facebook and similarly on Twitter. Fortunately, there’s a solution. (You may want to bookmark this page for future reference.)
For LinkedIn, if you notice a colleague, friend, classmate or co-worker that is deceased, you can notify their customer service department by filling out a form. Full instructions are here: https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2842
For Facebook, when someone dies, often times people want to pay their respects on the Facebook page and often times loved ones don’t want to delete the page in order to stay in contact with friends of the deceased. Facebook actually allows you to “memorialize” a page by filling out a form online. However, this doesn’t delete the account. It simply removes specific information from the public for this account.
Twitter offers loved ones the ability to delete the Twitter account of the deceased. However, Twitter doesn’t make it easy for a relative to take care of a deceased person’s digital profile. And you have to fax or snail mail the laundry list of information. Fax??? Seriously, do people still do that? Here are the labor intensive instructions from Twitter: https://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-a-violation/topics/148-policy-information/articles/87894-how-to-contact-twitter-about-a-deceased-user
They will only remove or preserve the profile of a deceased user at the request of the next of kin (mother, father, spouse, legally registered domestic partner, son, or daughter) or at the request of the executor of estate.
Myspace will not allow access or update the log in information for a profile for any circumstance to protect the privacy of the creator of the account. However, if you have access to the email account tied to the Myspace profile, you can retrieve the password by clicking here.
- Click here to contact our support team
- Select Your Safety and Privacy for category
- Select Other for sub-topic
- Information to include under description:
- Reason for contact, request to remove or preserve the profile
- Relationship to deceased (if you are acting on behalf of the next of kin, we will only accept a copy of the death certificate)
- Attach a copy of the death certificate or obituary. We will also accept the URL to the online news publication or funeral home website.
Yahoo! doesn’t make it easy. You won’t be able to access the deceased person’s account unless you get a court order, but you can have it deleted. Their terms of service state: You agree that your Yahoo! account is non-transferable and any rights to your Yahoo! ID or contents within your account terminate upon your death. Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate, your account may be terminated and all contents therein permanently deleted.
Google is pretty straight forward. They are aware that the content is sensitive so they take every precaution. “Any decision to provide the contents of a deceased user’s email will be made only after a careful review, and the application to obtain email content is a lengthy process. ” For full instructions on what you need to supply, go here.
If you don’t have the login information for Hotmail, you can still get a snapshot of the account and/or request the closure of the account. You first have to start off with emailing the Windows Live Custodian of Records by emailing email@example.com to initiate the process. For full instructions on what you need to include, click here.