A new study on Facebook’s users has emerged that indicates there will be more dead people on the platform than the living in 50 years. The paper seeks to discuss how the data present on dead people’s profiles will be dealt with after their death.
As reported by Business Insider, if Facebook grows at its 13 percent a year rate, there will be 4.9 billion dead profiles by the end of the century. Currently, Facebook claims to have 2.38 billion active users (at least once a month) on its platform.
Authors of the published paper Carl Öhman and David Watson, doctoral candidates from the Internet Institute of the University of Oxford, are trying to explore how the data from the accounts of the deceased will be preserved. Watson believes Facebook is a “vast archive of human behaviour and culture been assembled in one place” and having control over it will allow us to preserve a part of our history. His suggestion is to invite historians, archivists, archaeologists and ethicists to curate all the valuable historical data on Facebook.
“The results should be interpreted not as a prediction of the future, but as a commentary on the current development, and an opportunity to shape what future we are headed towards,” lead author Öhman added.