However, issues are popping up around the globe with the socially based media that have become the underpinnings used to store, share and connect with these photographs.
|Howzey. "Grave." 2007-Dec-07. 2012-Sep-12.|
AARPBulletin recently published details of an ongoing struggle for the father of a 15 year old Virginia boy who died as a result of suicide. His late son’s Facebook digital assets, including all his pictures remain unavailable. Not an isolated incident, reports are flooding the news and making it on to prime-time TV, like NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams. As the problem grows at least 5 states have already stepped in with laws granting someone to be permitted to serve as a personal representative in dealing with one’s ‘digital afterlife’ assets. More states have similar laws winding their ways through legislation. How and Why You Should Write a Social Media Will
USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. It is the U.S. government's official web portal designed to provide trusted, timely, valuable government information and services when and where you want them.
The issue of dealing with one’s ‘digital afterlife’ is getting so much attention USA.gov recently published an article in its blog on the topic. It offered these suggestions;
- Create a statement of how you would like your online identity to be handled.
- Appoint someone you trust as an online executor. This person will be responsible for closing your email addresses, social media profiles, and blogs after you are deceased.
- Review the privacy policies and the terms and conditions of each website where you have a presence.
- State how you would like your profiles to be handled. You may want to completely cancel your profile or keep it up for friends and family to visit. Some sites allow users to create a memorial profile where other users can still see your profile but can’t post anything new.
- Give the social media executor a document that lists all the websites where you have a profile, along with your usernames and passwords.
- Stipulate in your will that the online executor should have a copy of your death certificate. The online executor may need this as proof in order for websites to take any actions on your behalf.
Look up ‘PRESERVATION’ and you will find definitions that focus primarily upon protection or maintenance.
Technology has allowed us the opportunity to take fragile silver halide coated pieces of paper embedded with our most precious memories, then through the process of photo scanning digitization convert them into electronic images that have a near infinite lifespan. While this is one aspect of preservation, we must now face another. A facet perhaps much more challenging. The emboldening power of digitization has a flip side that has now begun to loom above the horizon. Moving forward we must all remember preservation includes not just physical protection, but also the protection to access. As we move into a digital world, we must be prepared for the digital afterlife!
Read more on this subject from a previous Digital Directions posting.
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