Tuesday, 12 August 2014

What Happens To Your Online Accounts When You Die?

Image: cdn.keystoneclick.com
Robin Williams just died. Planes are in a habit of taking a nose dive nowadays. Aside from the daily broadsheets or on CNN or on any news agencies, I assumed you’ll be hearing those news on social media. Today, you might post your condolences to the family of Robin Williams, you might twit about it (might be trending now #RIPRobinWilliams), you might post some screen grabs of Mrs. Doubtfire on your Instagram…that is today. What about tomorrow?

Out of the blue, I wondered, WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR ACCOUNT WHEN YOU DIE? Though, death is quite a taboo thing for some to discuss, but hey, like it or not, we’re all mortals and someday we’ll get there.

Nowadays, most of us lives in a two parallel universe, our physical being and the virtual ones (who don’t have Facebook or Twitter or Instagram? Even those people who don’t know what e-mail is have an email address just to be connected). Unlike our physical assets, i.e. real estate, titulo ng lupa, pera sa banko, even your favorite pets and toys and gadgets, where you can have a will and leave it to someone after your demised, I don’t know if you can do that on your online account… you might be able to put it on your will, because it is very unlikely that after your death people will expect a twit or a post from you “hey guys I’m dead” or "astig men...lakas ng wi-fi dito"..."#feelslikeheaven"...wag na naman mag-selfie...katakot na 'yon.

If you’re have a Facebook user, Facebook has a Memorialization Request for those deceased users. The family of the deceased can fill up a form and submit it to Facebook. Some documents needs to be submitted (death certificate, deceased person's birth certificate, or proof of authority). The request can be made by the immediate relatives like the spouse or the parents, even non-family member like your friend or a classmate. Facebook offers to memorialized the account, remove the account, its not clear though if an access to the deceased's account will be given to the petitioner.

Facebook Memorialization Request


Image: samapplegate
When the your twitting days are over, then again your family have to send a lot of documents to Twitter. The good thing about it though is that they will digitalized all public twits of the user and hand it to the beneficiary. Here are the documents required:
  1. The username of the deceased user's Twitter account (e.g., @username or twitter.com/username)
  2. A copy of the deceased user’s death certificate
  3. A copy of your government-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license)
  4. A signed statement including:
  • Your first and last name
  • Your email address
  • Your current contact information
  • Your relationship to the deceased user or their estate
  • Action requested (e.g., ‘please deactivate the Twitter account’)
  • A brief description of the details that evidence this account belongs to the deceased, if the name on the account does not match the name on death certificate.
  • A link to an online obituary or a copy of the obituary from a local newspaper (optional)

And you’ll send the above documentations by fax of by mail on the address below:

Twitter, Inc.
c/o: Trust & Safety
1355 Market St., Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94103
Fax : 1-415-865-5405

Image: balmir.com
On its Privacy and Safety Centre, Instagram had a clear statement that “to protect the privacy of people on Instagram, we’re unable to provide anyone with login information to an account”, though as per their policy they will remove the account of the deceased person by providing them the following documents:

  1. The deceased person's birth certificate
  2. The deceased person's death certificate
  3. Proof of authority under local law that you are the lawful representative of the deceased person, or his/her estate
  4. An obituary

Moreover, if it’s still being connected is your game after the last of your breath depart from your mortal body, there are some company that will memorialized or immortalized you on the virtual world, check this link for the lists: http://www.thedigitalbeyond.com/online-services-list/.

And that’s it…goodbye for now.

tipa ng tipa...

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human situation.

Graham Greene

Web log or “blog”. Bloggers. Wordpress. Multiply. Friendster. Yahoo! 360. My Space. Facebook. You Tube. YM. Skype. Hotmail. Google. Who on the planet don’t know these stuff? Pretty much almost all human beings whose’ been or at least once on their life time had been to this virtual world called the “internet”, has already encountered these names.

Some have it as a companion, a source of information – good and bad, some might be nice and some might be not, like a Pandora’s Box.

For others, it’s a good tool to communicate with their long lost friends, classmates, relatives, enemies, exes, new acquaintances, new friends, new enemies, mga nakasabay sa CR, nakatabi at naka-huntahan sa bus o LRT/MRT o FX and the whole barangay.

Some found it as an outlet to express their thoughts, sentiments, stories of their life, the complains, the frustrations, to brag about the hobbies, the collections, and a lot of things this mind can think of.

Others too, just simply want to write, to enjoy this small space that this virtual universe has given to them. That’s all. Write, write, and write.

But is there a limitation for this? I mean, can I just write whatever that comes to my mind? Like I said on my previous post, we’re in a world which is living and has been survived for ages by the laws governing its occupants; so having said that, there must be some decorum or at least a “Bloggers’ Etiquette” or some kind of “Bloggers’ Protocol” (imbento ko lang ‘to), like a manner to be observed when a blogger blogs.

Image from: National Post

1. Consider What You’re Gonna Write. Writing is fun, when a writer starts to write, it’s like an endless marathon where there is no finish line, literally “ihe lang ang pahinga” at “tungga ng kape”. The idea simply flows, but of course, with that over pouring of thoughts, a writer should ask him/herself first, “Do I really need to write this?” or “Why am I writing this?”. The space might be the writers’, and yet the space will be available to the public. That’s why after writing the blog there’s this “Publish” button at the end, it will be published and it meant to be read. People will read it – and mind you they won’t just read, like it or not they will scrutinize and criticize it; might find it’s content interesting, boring, acceptable or absurd. So from there, at least on writing, don’t be selfish, consider too the ones going to read, would it be beneficial to them? or what would they get? Does the content of the article will affect something on life of the reader? Will it promote common good or common evil (meron ba nun?). If it’ll ruin someone’s reputation or someone’s life or if it’s just bragged someone’s stupidity under the sun for nothing…think again, know your motive on writing. That’s tricky, because I might brag about other people’s fault so as for the others not to follow…siguro on a nice way. Simply, be considerate.

2. Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Simply put, NO LIES. This I guess centers on the “non-fiction” writing, cause if it is a fiction, syempre di totoo, katha-katha lang, at kung minsan eh kailangan talagang umimbento ng kasinungalingan para lang maging masabaw at malasa ang kwento. Kumbaga sa sago at gulaman, kung mas matingkad ang food coloring – mas mabenta sa mga bata. What about the non-fiction type? Well if it is a story of the writer, or someone else’s, write only the truth, kung me mga palabok man, make sure that the reader will clearly identify the facts from fiction; if it is for general information, make sure that the facts stated are relatively true, which will lead us to number 3.

3. Acknowledged the Source. This one I guess is an etiquette every writer should have. Maybe not all the time, but sometimes we “quote” something from other people on writing or just to add substance to our post, with that it will do no harm to acknowledge them, appreciate them. Iwas plagiarism pa. Pasasalamat ga. Kung ‘yong mga artista nga sa awards night eh me listahan ng mga pasasalamat, diba ok rin ‘yong pasalamatan natin ‘yong ating mga sources. Give credit to the references you used on writing that article, kahit galing pa ‘yan sa Tiktik. Or if we interviewed someone or asked for other peoples opinion regarding the subject, at least give a nod to them who contributed something to make that article done. At aminin na natin, claiming something that is not ours, aside from the “not-so-good-feeling” it’ll give, eh it will also engraved a big capital letter “L” on our forehead.

4. Cross-link. With Mr. Google around, making a research work nowadays is, well… more of a skill on “typing” the right word, to get the right “hits”. he he he. With that, like the number 3, it will be also fun to cross-linked those site that we found interesting and say, beneficial to our reader. If I am the reader, it will be easily for me to verify or to explore more on the subject if the sources come handy with the post. Diba, click-click lang.

5. English o Tagalog o Bisaya o Ilocano? Maybe on writing a blog, there is no such rules limiting the blogger what medium to use. On my blogging career (at may karir pa talaga akong nalalaman), I read / encounter a lot of blogs that even criss-crossing from one medium to another, and yet it works. Even the street slangs, and the new lingos works fine. And the grammar?? Hhmm.. I don’t know if that’s really an issue on writing a blog, well of course using grammar on your writing is encourage, but it doesn’t really hinders or stop the blogger there.. just write, write, write. Though, the subject don’t recognize the verb, and some idioms doesn’t compliment the thought, pero ok pa rin, sulat lang ng sulat. One tip siguro, use the medium where you can express yourself more, and where you’re comfortable of using.

6. This one is more on the “comments” part. Syempre, since the post is open to the public, and on the bottom on your post there’s a lil button there labeled “Comments”, then comments are expected. Well for the “commentators” or to those that will leave comments, be nice naman. Comment more on the content of the post, rather than on how the post has been done (like peeking on grammars, wrong spellings, etc.). For criticism, be nice ulit on telling the writer what is it, or if it will offend the writer, I guess comments box is not the right place, e-mail the writer. And make a comment if you really have something to comment on the post, hindi naman ‘yong basta nalang makapag-comment, may masabi lang ba, wag namang ganun. At isa pa, Comment Box, a.k.a. Instant Chat Room, I don’t know if there’s separate rule for this, but I find these most of the time on the blogs I visited, and nakaka-aliw.. he he he.

‘Yon lang. Oi, gawa-gawa ko lang ‘to ha, if you’re a blogger, those stuff above does not necessarily mean that you have to follow, sabi ko nga gawa-gawa lang ‘yan.