It's Like Facebook for Dead People

Hong Kong government offers online memorial profiles

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 11, 2010 10:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – In Hong Kong, your online presence can begin when your earthly presence ends. The highly wired city has built a new website that enables the bereaved to set up commemorative online profiles of their departed loved ones. Users can choose among layout and background music options, supplement information about their loved one's life by uploading photos and videos, and choose how public to make the profile, the New York Times reports.

In a culture that takes respect for the dead very seriously, many worry about the site displacing traditional forms of mourning. Instead of building a website, one funeral wreath vendor griped, “the government should have put up money to build more public vaults for urns.” But Hong Kong insists the site "is not meant to replace traditional practices of paying tribute to the deceased”—just to offer access to dead loved ones “anytime and anywhere online, in a warm, personalized yet solemn manner.”

The English version of the Hong Kong website where users can build profiles of the dead.
The English version of the Hong Kong website where users can build profiles of the dead.   (memorial.hk.gov)
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