Profiles of deceased people are never deleted from Facebook. In fact, they could be considered as good as active! Thus, this report by researchers saying the social networking giant will become the world’s biggest virtual graveyard by the end of this century as there will be more profiles of dead people than of living users, comes as no surprise.
“Social media website Facebook, which currently has 1.5 billion users worldwide, will turn into the world’s biggest virtual graveyard by 2098,” Dailymail.co.uk quoted statistician Hachem Sadikki from University of Massachusetts as saying. “Facebook’s refusal to automatically delete dead users and the plateauing membership of the site means that the living will be outnumbered sooner than you might think,” the report said.
Sadikki, PhD candidate in statistics at University of Massachusetts, said he worked out the figure by assuming that Facebook’s growth will begin to slow soon. A blogging company Digital Beyond has claimed that nearly 970,000 Facebook users will die this year alone across the world which is far more as compared to 385,968 in 2010 and 580,000 in 2012.
This, coupled with the assumption that Facebook will continue to refuses to delete dead users and instead turns the account into a “memorialised” version, proves the validity of the report.
Not everyone enjoys this feature of Facebook, and users have complained of receiving the birthday alerts of dead users. Facebook has tried to solve this problem by asking users to appoint a “Legacy Contact” before they die, which will be able to administer the page after a user passes away by writing one last post and even approving new friend requests. The contact can even update cover and profile photo.