Dead Facebook users will outnumber living by 2098

As new user numbers slow, most people on Facebook will no longer be alive in 85 years' time

There will be more dead users on Facebook than living ones by the end of this century, a PhD researcher has predicted.

The social network could turn into a "virtual graveyard" as early as 2098, said University of Massachusetts PhD candidate Hachem Sadikki.

Facebook's current policy is not to delete deceased users' accounts, but instead converts them to 'memorial' pages.

Assuming that this policy does not change, and factoring in an expected slowing of user growth, Sadikki reached the conclusion that Facebook's dead would outnumber the living within 85 years.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

If users want their Facebook profiles to be modified or deleted upon their death, the company advises that they appoint a 'Legacy Contact'.

Similar to an executor of a will, this person can act as an administrator for the account, with the power to change the profile picture, write statuses or deactivate the account altogether.

Nearly one million Facebook users will die this year alone, according to Digital Beyond, a company specialising in what happens to your online footprint after you expire.

This figure is almost double what it was five years ago, reflecting the site's explosion in popularity over this period.

The issue of deceased users is becoming an increasingly problematic one for Facebook, which came under fire late last year for accidentally reminding users of dead friends and relatives via its 'memories' feature, which notified users of old pictures they had posted years ago.

Facebook also tends to flag dead users' birthdays alongside living ones, unless their accounts are properly managed post-mortem.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/policy-legislation/32857/irish-data-protection-commission-facebook-whatsapp-instagram-merge
Policy & legislation

Irish Data Protection Commission has questions for Facebook

29 Jan 2019
Visit/security/internet-security/354484/facebook-exec-calls-cambridge-analytica-scandal-a-non-event
internet security

Facebook exec calls Cambridge Analytica scandal a "non event"

8 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/mobile/354392/facebook-apps-dominated-this-decades-mobile-market
Mobile

Facebook apps dominated this decade's mobile market

18 Dec 2019
Visit/digital-currency/34762/china-prepares-to-launch-the-first-domestic-cryptocurrency
digital currency

China prepares to launch the first domestic cryptocurrency

6 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354602/xerox-to-nominate-directors-to-hps-board-reports
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to nominate directors to HP's board – reports

22 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020