This blog discussed a few months ago the issues with Facebook when you die. On Monday, the Death and Digital Legacy site announced the change in the Twitter.com deceased policy.
Why is this important? For consumers who want to control their content, this is important. Often, your online content has value after you die -- or maybe even more value since you won't be publishing any more content after you die. Plus, your heirs may have concerns about privacy or what to do with your online content. The new Twitter.com deceased policy:
"If we are notified that a Twitter user has passed away, we can remove their account or assist family members in saving a backup of their public Tweets. Please contact us with the following information:
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail or fax:
- Your full name, contact information (including email address), and your relationship to the deceased user.
- The username of the Twitter account, or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account.
- A link to a public obituary or news article.
c/o: Trust & Safety
795 Folsom Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94107
We will respond by email with any additional information we might need."
If you use a smartphone app to publish your tweets, then that service provider's deceased policy may also affect what happens to your online content after you die.
Twitter's policy is a good one. More social networking sites need to clarify their policies about what happens when users die and the process for heirs. That can help prevent identity theft.