Facebook is likely to become the world’s biggest virtual graveyard by the year 2098, as the number of accounts of the deceased will outnumber the living on the social networking site, an expert has claimed.
At present, when a user passes away, Facebook transforms their page into a ‘memorialised’ version. The account of a dead person can be deleted only if someone with the password logs in and closes it down. However, few people have another person’s login information, so the account tends to remain active even after death.
According to Hachem Sadikki, a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts in US, the social network will become the world’s biggest virtual graveyard by 2098.
His calculations are based on the assumption that Facebook will continue to not delete dead users automatically and that the site’s growth will soon begin to slow.
According to the online legacy planning company Digital Beyond, 970,000 Facebook users will die this year. In 2010 it was 385,968 and in 2012 it was 580,000, the ‘Metro’ reported.
Facebook’s refusal to delete dead users automatically and the plateauing membership of the site means that the living will be outnumbered sooner than thought.
The site has tried to get around the problem by asking users to appoint a ‘Legacy Contact’, a sort of online executor of their will, before they die.