Facebook is on its way to becoming the world’s biggest online graveyard by 2098, according to a researcher. The morbid news means there will be more dead people than alive ones on the site towards the end of the century.
This is of course assuming Facebook is still kicking around that far into the future. The prediction makes sense given the site’s policy to not delete deceased members, instead choosing to turn their page into a memorial. As per Hachem Sadikki, a PhD candidate in statistics at the University of Massachusetts, this combined with the declining rate of new additions will result in it becoming a massive virtual graveyard.
Facebook boasts of 1.5 billion users at present, but growth has been slowing down in the US where most of the population has already signed up for the social networking website. Digital Beyond, an online legacy firm, claims that over 970000 users will pass away across the world this year. The figure has leaped up from 385968 in 2010 and 580000 in 2012.
Friends and family of a deceased Facebook member have to send a special request to the company if they want the person’s page to get shut down. The brand has come under fire recently for how it handles death. It’s tried to provide a solution in the form of a Legacy Contact. The feature lets a user appoint someone as their account handler after their death.
The Legacy Contact is allowed to perform activities like writing a pinned post, responding to friend requests and changing the profile photo. While a useful service, it still doesn’t allow for the removal of a person’s Facebook profile. The site should really start thinking about making it easier to do so if it doesn’t want to turn into a wasteland of the dearly departed in the future.