Who Will Inherit Your Social Media Accounts When You Die?

The Uniform Law Commission supports a plan that would grant loved ones access to a deceased person's social media accounts unless otherwise specified in a will. Opponents of the plan say it infringes upon privacy rights.

What's the Latest?


Chances are, if you've been active on social media for the better part of a decade, someone on one of your friends list is no longer alive. Facebook has a feature that turns deceased users' profiles into memorial pages. Other profiles have been commandeered or deactivated by loved ones and relatives, though most onlines terms of service decree that only the person who opened an account is legally allowed to access and post from it. A new plan endorsed by the Uniform Law Commission proposes legislation that would come into conflict with those terms of service -- social media accounts would automatically be passed down to loved ones in order to access them (though not post from them). The only exception would be if the deceased had restricted access in his/her will.

What's the Big Idea?

There are two sides of this argument. For one side, the internet exists much like a digital filing cabinet. When a person dies, their loved ones should be granted access to the cabinet in order to salvage information, photos, videos, etc. On the other side, privacy activists argue it would not be right to insist that a person should draw up a will in order maintain the security of secrets kept online. Still, it seems wise to insist on executors and loved ones gaining control of online personas rather than allowing the companies that house them to levy restrictions.

This is, as is mentioned in the Associated Press/Yahoo article linked below, a debate over "digital assets." Basically, we're playing catch-up here. Technology has advanced a lot quicker than laws about it have.

Read more at Yahoo

Photo credit: ra2studio / Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less

The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
Strange Maps
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Keep reading Show less

What is the Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal is an ambitious attempt to fight climate change, but is it destined to hit the political skids?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stops by the Sunrise Movement's sit-in protest at Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's office. Credit: Sunrise Movement / Twitter
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Recent protests by the Sunrise Movement have taken the Green New Deal from forgotten policy to trending hashtag.
  • The Green New Deal aims to move the U.S. to 100% renewable energy within a decade.
  • Proponents also hope to catalyze a top-down restructuring of the U.S. economy and advance social justice issues.
Keep reading Show less