Tag Archives: social media

Twitter – When do the Tweets stop?

If a Twitter user dies, here are the steps you must take to remove his or her account or to save a backup of their public Tweets.

Contact Twitter at privacy [Email address: privacy #AT# twitter.com - replace #AT# with @ ] or by mail or fax at:

Twitter Inc.
c/o Trust and Safety
795 Folsome St., Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94107
Fax: 415-222-9958

In the letter that you send, include the following information:

  1. Your full name, contact information (including email address) and your relationship to the deceased user.
  2. The user name of the Twitter account or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account.  
  3. A  link to a public obituary or other news article about the account holder’s death.

For more information about closing out social media and other accounts when someone dies, check out our book “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”

 

Hotmail – Does it stay hot?

No it doesn’t.   If no action is taken, once 120 days with no sign in have passed, all messages in the account will be deleted and inbound mail refused.  If a customer doesn’t sign into any part of the Windows Live network during this period, the ID as well as any Messenger contact lists will also be deleted.


The deceased’s next of kin has the right to notify Hotmail about the death.  He or she will need to supply several things in order to shut down the account immediately or to gain access to the content of the account:



  • a photocopy of the death certificate

  • paperwork stating that the next of kin is a benefactor to the deceased’s estate

  • a photocopy of the next of kin’s driver license

  • a document with the account name

  • the first and last name on the account

  • date of birth of the account holder

  • city, state, zip code of account holder

  • approximate date of account creation

  • approximate last date of sign in by the deceased

 All of this information should be sent via fax to Microsoft at 650-693-7061.  Although Microsoft will not provide the password to the next of kin, their policy allows the next of kin to gain access to the content of the account (burned onto media such as a CD) upon proving their relationship.


To find out more about digital assets, check out our book, “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”

AOL – Will you be online forever?

AOL makes it easy for you to keep, access or cancel the account of a loved one. 

Any member of the deceased’s family can call AOL member services at 800-827-6364.  You will be asked for some information about the deceased and your relation to him or her.   Then they will send paperwork that needs to be filled out.  Once it has been completed and returned to AOL, it will be reviewed and the account will be updated to allow you to access it. 

If you do nothing and the account remains inactive for more than 90 days, the deceased’s screen name will be deactivated.  If it is a free email account, it will be cancelled after only 30 days of inactivity.  If the screen name is assigned to a fee-based service, someone must pay any amount owned on that account at the time it is cancelled.

To learn more about how to handle someone’s online accounts after they die, as well as to identify things you should do to protect the identity of that person, check out the book  “Grave Robbers…How to prevent identity theft of the deceased.”