What happens online when you die

We’re all going to die sometime. Do you know what happens to all your tweets, Facebook pictures, status updates, videos, and more once you pass away?

Some of the social networks actually own the rights to your content when you post them. That information can be passed along to your next of kin after you pass away if they request it. If you’re married, that means your spouse. If you’re a teenager, that means your parents.

This video reinforces the fact that what you post online, even privately, may not stay private forever. After you die, you especially lose control over that data. Don’t post anything online, even privately, that you wouldn’t want the world to know. Even if you use blocking and privacy features in social networks, they don’t always work the way they should (I’ve seen plenty online that wasn’t supposed to be accessible to me).

It’s important for our teenagers to understand this. They can create all the private Facebook accounts they want, restrict status updates from certain people, and send private messages they don’t think anyone else will ever see, but that’s just not true. They don’t control their online identity — Facebook does. And they can’t control Facebook, but they can control what information they give to Facebook. Unfortunately, many teenagers may have to learn that the hard way and many certainly have already.

(In case you’re interested, I wrote some of my thoughts on this video from a video marketing perspective at

(ht socialtimes)

Posted on February 13, 2012

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