New End-of-Life Planning: Social Media Wills

Feds want you to plan what happens to your online profile

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 7, 2012 10:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Social networking has already changed our lives; now, officials want us to consider its implications after our death. On its blog, the US government is calling on Americans to create "social media wills," which detail our wishes for the future of the huge range of online accounts we all have these days. Email and Facebook are just the beginning: The average person has 25 password-protected accounts, a law professor tells Mashable. About half a million Facebook users reportedly died last year.

Because a Facebook account, for example, can act as an interactive memorial, the social media will raises entirely different questions from a traditional will, Mashable notes. "Just like a traditional will helps your survivors handle your physical belongings, a social media will spells out how you want your online identity to be handled," the blog post says, urging people to appoint "online executors" who "will be responsible for closing your email addresses, social media profiles, and blogs after you are deceased."

The government suggests we all write 'social media wills.'
The government suggests we all write 'social media wills.'   (Shutterstock)
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