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Social Media Accounts Part of Deceased Oklahomans' Estates

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the where's-the-undead-button dept.

Facebook 120

An anonymous reader writes "Estate executors or administrators in Oklahoma have the power to access, administer or terminate the online social media accounts of the deceased, according to a new state law. '"The number of people who use Facebook today is almost equal to the population of the United States. When a person dies, someone needs to have legal access to their accounts to wrap up any unfinished business, close out the account if necessary or carry out specific instructions the deceased left in their will," Kiesel said.'"

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Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1, Troll)

SeriouslyNoClue (1842116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421170)

Social network accounts are assets. Just see how much they can fetch on the black market. Therefor when the owner dies, the death tax should be applied to them. That way the deceased's offspring will be forced to pay the death tax or whoever wants the deceased's account may have it for whatever profit methods they can dream up. This is how capitalism works and failure for the beneficiaries to pay a hefty tax, it should be auctioned to the highest bidder. Then the highest bidder will cause that account to earn money, further stimulating the economy.
br. This tax should be funneled back into big businesses in the form of subsidiaries and tax refunds so that those large companies can post higher profits and provide more jobs. Using the common conservative logic that dictates the largest companies should enjoy the highest tax cuts like Bush pushed for, we could fix our economic woes in one fell swoop. I'm surprised that such an obvious solution to help the common man find employment hasn't been devised sooner. On top of that, imagine all the accounts that would have remained dormant and all the revenue they will generate for companies that buy them and our great nation!

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421264)

Wow. Too smart for a FP but seriously skewed in some direction I can't fathom...

If the account is not sold, there's no way to judge fair market price ... but even then at least per US tax law last I looked you can gift an asset to someone and then they pay no tax on it.

Then you go on to more adventures, but I'll stop here before I get deafened by whoosh because I'm sure you meant to be funny.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421686)

There is no legitimate market for social networking accounts. The black market is only for spammers, phishers, etc. and in the open light of day they disappear. The account is "worth" exactly what the original owner paid for it, minus any depreciation. In general, it is worth nothing. It may have some worth to the original owner's family as it may contain photos, etc. that have meaning to those folks. Putting it under an executor's control since it has no real tangible value, but may have content with sentimental value is the right thing to do.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421732)

How many accounts do you think are valued at millions of dollars? You are showing how much you know about the inheritance tax.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1)

Jiro (131519) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421948)

"This is how capitalism works" and taxes don't go together. Taxes are not capitalism, they are government intervention.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422400)

Without taxes the government wouldn't get far.
Without government there would be no market.

Capitalism requires government intervention in order to function. Also it is only a small part of the ideals our government and society are built on and therefore does not dictate what the government can and cannot do. There are also little things like the idea of a republic, common law, and democracy just to name a few.

No. It isn't how the US founding fathers envisioned; nor should it be. They had many good ideas and a few bad ones as well. Also they did NOT envision the US as being a pure capitalist nation.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34423798)

Capitalism requires government intervention in order to function

Wow. Talk about an unsupported assertion. In other news, lungs require government intervention in order to breathe.

Government intervention? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422926)

Can we please dispense with euphemisms? Taxes are not "government intervention", they are robbery. It just so happens that most of us are willing to tolerate robbery when it's done by government allegedly for the public benefit.

Re:Government intervention? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#34423518)

Can we please dispense with not knowing the definition of words we are attempting to assign as the meaning of other words?

Taxes are not robbery. Robbery is generally defined as "an act of larceny carried out via the use or threat of violence". Larceny is defined as "the act of taking something from someone unlawfully".

Taxes are lawful; therefore they cannot be construed as larceny; therefore they cannot be construed as robbery.

Go take your horseshit elsewhere.

Re:Government intervention? (2)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426138)

Referring to a dictionary is the most pathetic form of argument from authority. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34423334)

You're confusing capitalism and anarchy. There's absolutely nothing in capitalism that excludes taxation.

Re:Social Networks Accounts as Assets (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34426004)

"This is how capitalism works" and taxes don't go together. Taxes are not capitalism, they are government intervention.

Capitalism. Government. Who cares? This article is about Oklahoma so neither one of those has any bearing on it. In Oklahoma, it's all about funneling money to the good 'ol boy oligarchy that has run the state since the capitol was stolen at gun point from Guthrie.

But will facebook play ball or say the state they (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421190)

But will facebook play ball or say the state they are in does not have that law and we will not let you in.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421232)

I think they will unless whatever state they use for legal jurisdiction says they can't. The main reason being that there's no profit for them in having dead accounts and it looks really bad refusing lawful requests.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421298)

there's no profit for them in having dead accounts

I disagree on that point. I'm sure people who have died and whose pages are visited by others make them money by ad views. However, the optics of the situation from a marketing perspective far far outweighs the amount they make, so I agree overall with your post.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (2)

geegel (1587009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421478)

You forget an essential part of marketing: public image. My personal prediction is that social media websites will embrace these laws and even come up with a few apps on the way. It's I believe a natural transition. Social media is no longer made up of 13 year olds anymore.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424148)

The synopsis of this thread...mentioned that the number of FB users is almost the same as the number of US citizens....wow.

Am I the only one left that doesn't have a FB account?

Am I about the only one that is just kinda creeped out and paranoid about all the info they gather and share/sell about their members?

:(

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421280)

I think they'll probably go along with it. Facebook has an increasing awkwardness problem with the accounts of dead people, and has made some efforts to mitigate it via things like "memorializing" pages. To the extent that someone wants to make "figure out what to do with the dead person's Facebook account" part of the estate-resolution process, it basically takes the problem off Facebook's hands and passes it to someone else.

The main stumbling block I can think of is how to set up a procedure for handing off an account. You have to verify that the person in question really is authorized to execute the deceased's estate, and that procedure might vary from state to state or country to country, which might cause some administrative hassles for Facebook.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (3, Interesting)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421720)

More interestingly (to me, since I'm not dead (yet)), if an account is part of an estate in death, then how does that affect its status in life? Is it *my* property? And if so, what rights do I have to it beyond what Facebook provides in the license agreement? And if it's not my property in life, then how can it possibly be part of my estate in death?

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (2)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422444)

More interestingly (to me, since I'm not dead (yet)), if an account is part of an estate in death, then how does that affect its status in life? Is it *my* property? And if so, what rights do I have to it beyond what Facebook provides in the license agreement? And if it's not my property in life, then how can it possibly be part of my estate in death?

Your debts are not "your property" in life or in death. Yet the executor of your estate has the ability by law to act for you in maintaining and settling those debts during the distribution of the estate. Your instructions as to how you wish to be memorialized/buried are not "your property" in life or in death. Yet the executor of your estate will more likely than not be authorized to carry out those instructions to the exclusion of the wishes of others.

Your estate includes not just property, but obligations, the ability to exercise legal rights, and a whole host of other activities which can be carried out by the estate entity in your stead. The family court will consider your wishes concerning the guardianship/adoption of your minor children, even though they certainly are not "your property." Your presumption that this is an either/or situation is flawed.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424136)

Sure, but the examples you give -- debts, children, and burial -- are your (or someone's) legal obligation. Accounts are neither obligations nor rights, so then what are they? The only other possibility is that it's an asset. In fact, a cursory Google search appears to confirm that this law asserts just that [fox23.com] .

As an aside, children are a notable exception, in that if there are no surviving parents or guardians, then the decision is ultimately up to a judge. You will may be considered, but the best interest of the child will always prevail (theoretically).

So I don't think it's as simple as you make it out to be, and I will be interested to see how this plays out.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34423664)

The executor or administrator is basically an agent. Provided they have good authority agents "are" their principal. For example, a company director is an agent of the company and his actions "are" those of the company*.

This can be not only awkward but difficult for practical reasons when the principal is dead, especially for tasks not considered when drawing up the executor's powers.

Basically this law means by default the executor has the same power over the social networking accounts as their principal did when he was alive, so he only needs to prove to Facebook that he is the legal executor. It only means he "owns" the account as much as the principal did.

* There are restrictions though. I'm not sure about the US but here in UK it's more or less a common-sense approach: it might be possible for the company to avoid taking on responsibility for a loan that a director fraudulently put in the company name because it would be generally expected that a bank would perform due diligence checks before lending a large sum. It would be much harder for them to avoid responsibility for debts the same director ran up ordering goods in the company name and delivered to company premises but kept privately.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424260)

Interesting, but an account is a contract, and contracts cannot be continued by a non-living person, nor can they be transferred unless the contract explicitly makes allowances for that. For example, one may have a contract of employment with his employer, but the executor/principle certainly cannot become the new employee in your stead.

I suspect this law will be ruled invalid should it ever be tested in court.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425662)

I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure contracts may continue after death, they are only voidable if the contract involves some characteristic personal to the offeror.

Because of this your example is correct, but it is not generally applicable. However there are numerous other possibilities that might often come into play such as frustration of purpose.

In our case I expect "personal characteristic" is arguable either way but I should think it would be extremely easy to word the service agreement in a way that suits whatever Facebook wants. I should think Facebook does not want these accounts there nor would they want their users having to decide whether to de-friend Dad.

IIRC it's even possible to form contract if the offeror dies before receiving acceptance, provided the offeree did not know at the time (I guess this is only possible under unilateral contracts or the postal rule?).

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425554)

I'm not dead (yet))

Yes you are.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422002)

The main stumbling block I can think of is how to set up a procedure for handing off an account. You have to verify that the person in question really is authorized to execute the deceased's estate, and that procedure might vary from state to state or country to country, which might cause some administrative hassles for Facebook.

That's the process to legally act as the deceased, but can't Facebook simply make their own process by amending the ToS? Something like "On conditions X, Y and Z, Facebook will provide the account login information." That might be death certificate, signed statements, perhaps a delay to prevent it being used to steal live accounts and so on. Assuming they provide that, it should be legal for Facebook to hand over the information even if it's according to some local estate protocol.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422576)

I think they'll probably go along with it.

What makes you think that Facebook has a choice?

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422816)

I suspect Facebook will soon alter their TOS to do whatever is to their advantage. It may include a clause that gives them ownership to accounts of the deceased.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424218)

"What makes you think that Facebook has a choice?"

What makes you think Facebook has to obey the law or whatever in a state where they have no physical presence?

I mean, still today at this point...a store selling something on line, cannot be forced to collect tax for a state they don't have a physical presence in....and that involves $$$$$$.

I mean, if a state can't force them on the almighty tax dollar...you think they can force them to do anything with a mere social site account?

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424172)

The main stumbling block I can think of is how to set up a procedure for handing off an account. You have to verify that the person in question really is authorized to execute the deceased's estate, and that procedure might vary from state to state or country to country, which might cause some administrative hassles for Facebook.

Because every other business (banks, utilities, etc) haven't solved this problem already with respect to the accounts of dead people.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421712)

Facebook doesn't really have a choice. The executor, for practical purposes, is acting as the decedent. A court order will clear up any uncertainty.

Re:But will facebook play ball or say the state th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424344)

They would have to admit that all those dead accounts belong to living people while active ones belong to dead people.

Wow... that actually makes sense! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421292)

Good job, Oklahoma.

Re:Wow... that actually makes sense! (1)

clong83 (1468431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421522)

For real! Finally my native state is in the news for passing a law that makes some iota of sense!

I know I'm responding to a different post here, but as for whoever mentioned the death tax... I'm hoping they weren't serious. Death tax only affects those who inherit sizable estates, and if you're in that game, surely a facebook page is the least of your worries. Besides, that's not really Oklahoma's problem, that's a federal issue.

Re:Wow... that actually makes sense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421676)

For real! Finally my native state is in the news for passing a law that makes some iota of sense!

There has to be a catch.

Re:Wow... that actually makes sense! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34422040)

in Oklahoma... yes - it probably has a hidden raise/tax cut for wealthy, and/or a provision for reduction in teacher's salaries in it. This state is... Interesting to live in (would be the nice way to say it.)

Re:Wow... that actually makes sense! (1)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422326)

I'm sure it raised someone's salary or some other self-serving agenda that was masked by logic. This is generally how things work around here.

Who cares? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421308)

You're DEAD

Re:Who cares? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421438)

Having peace of mind about what will happen to your loved ones after you die is part of living -now-.

Re:Who cares? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421462)

You can also solve that problem by making sure no one loves you and you love no one.

I think that's GPP's approach.

Re:Who cares? (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421874)

An entirely valid approach towards reducing stress in your daily life.

Re:Who cares? (2)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421516)

I'd like to know that my beneficiaries will execute a huge DDoS attack in the event of my passing. Thank you.

Re:Who cares? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424294)

I'm kinda hoping to be cremated, and I'd like my friends to go have a drink at several bars in the French Quarter, and flush a bit of my ashes down the toilet at each stop along the way.

Seems like a neat way to go....oh, and they have to play either Brown Sugar or Star Star [wikipedia.org] (if they can find it) at each place too!

Re:Who cares? (1)

swfranklin (578324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421520)

I worked with a contract programmer several years ago, we kept in touch as he travelled around the country. He emailed me when he moved to Des Moines, and about 6 months later I emailed that I would be travelling through there - message bounced back. I checked his FB profile and found a message from his brother that he'd passed away, with an email address for the brother. Most of my FB "Friends" are people that I don't see or talk to one-on-one for years at a time, but FB lets us keep in touch. I would greatly appreciate family notices on their profiles if they were to die.

Re:Who cares? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421710)

"You're DEAD"

The LIVING

Re:Who cares? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421754)

Funerals aren't for the dead, you know, and neither is this. This makes it easier for the living to tie up loose ends the dead no longer can.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34422474)

Exactly.
People have been leaving behind yahoo, hotwire and gmail accounts for years.
But oh my god, this is *social* media! This changes everything!
How sad if people feel the need to keep a Facebook page around to remember someone. Wow! You must've been close!

Re:Who cares? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424388)

But somebody has to change your status to 'dead' or 'temporarily deceased'.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425976)

I think you're missing the opportunity to have some fun with your death...

Instructions to executor:
2 days after death, tweet the following: "Man this purgatory place is boring! It's like a dentist's office without the Highlights."
5 days after death, tweet the following: "Avoided eternal damnation! FYI: jerking it & smoking pot don't count against you, but those 2 Britney albums I bought did."
7 days after death, change FB relationship status to: In a Relationship with Marilyn Monroe
21 days after death, send facemail to ...: "Dude, heard you're coming to visit! We should totally plan on going out, the clubs here are way better than Vegas and you never get a hangover!"

'business'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421312)

What sort of business do people conduct on Facebook aside from the non-human primate variety?

almost equal? (1)

eflester (715184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421334)

Facebook says they have 500 million users. Last I knew, that's quite a bit more than the population of the USA. http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics [facebook.com]

Re:almost equal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34424692)

'Average user has 130 friends'

Wow, I don't even know that many people by name.

Why terminate? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421370)

Just move the account to http://deadbook.com/ [deadbook.com]

Wait, wait, wait, Gimme a minute, Let me first go and register that domain

Dang it. Some squatter got it already. Damn!

Re:Why terminate? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421594)

Try corpsebook.com
cadaverbook.com
wormfood.com
kickedthebucket.com

Honestly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421384)

Seriously people. Fuck facebook. Mod me down, I don't care but having a executor of your facebook account to post one last status update is fucking ridiculous. This shit is really getting macabre.

The page must go on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421390)

So my facebook page can continue after my death? Sweet. Its so going in my will that my Social Media pages must continue like I was alive. I will be imortal! If they hire a decent author it will be better than if I was alive.

The number of FB accounts == US population? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34421392)

I have one real and two faux FB accounts.

From a statistics standpoint my sample size of one is flawed.

Nevertheless, I'd wager that there are a lot fewer real FB accounts than the numbers would suggest.

Ha ha, my captcha is "aliased"

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421456)

My ex had at least 30 facebook accounts. She liked to impersonate music celebrities.

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421530)

She can have 'em. I just shut off mine, so if 29 more people shut of theirs, then I'd say we broke even! Everybody wins!

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421878)

I'm doing my part by not having a facebook account.

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421548)

So Kati Perry really does not love me? I need a moment alone.

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421578)

Kati Perry might, but Katy Perry is unlikely to.

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421618)

I knew it. We are getting married. On a mountain. And there will be flutes playing and garlands made of fresh herb. Then we will start a family band and tour the country.

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

Eravau (12435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421726)

Sure you're not thinking of Julie Andrews instead of Kati Perry?

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425940)

Oh know, it is the one that sings the California Girls song, well, at least that is the picture she says she is on her profile. I mean, it is the internet, and I normally believe everything that is said on the internet

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (2)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421930)

So Kati Perry really does not love me? I need a moment alone.

Well, GP's X's Katy-Perry-impersonation loves you!

Almost as good right?

Re:The number of FB accounts == US population? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424068)

I wouldn't put that curse on anyone.

She is an ex for good reason.

Not pointless.. (3, Informative)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421406)

It has been very hard in the past for members of the deceased to close down their social networking accounts, or even post a message with the funeral information. This law should give them the ability to manage the accounts accordingly.

Re:Not pointless.. (1)

lmcgeoch (1298209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421508)

It has been very hard in the past for members of the deceased to close down their social networking accounts, or even post a message with the funeral information. This law should give them the ability to manage the accounts accordingly.

Yes but..maybe Facebook should be more proactive and make some kind of a living will setting or something...I agree it would be super creepy but better than trying to deal with legislator with each state/province/country.

Re:Not pointless.. (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421550)

What you wrote is valid and true.

And of course it would be impossible for a small, modestly skilled company like Facebook to come up with a procedure for making funeral information available without giving all of the deceased's social life to whoever wins the inheritance.

But this will also let the heirs (sometimes the ones intended by the deceased, often the ones who win in court) learn all sort of private things about the deceased's relationships, preferences, beliefs, likely passwords, etc. And those of others, still living. It will be an absolute bonanza for attorneys and other scumbags.

Good news is, we'll get to see sex pics of most dead celebrities now.

Re:Not pointless.. (1)

the phantom (107624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421630)

How is this any different from the rest of a dead person's estate? When a person dies, there is always the potential that their heirs will argue about the disbursement of the estate, and that scandals will come to light. The dead person is dead. By definition, they don't care. It is the right of the heirs (either those selected by the deceased, or those determined by the courts) to determine what to do with the estate.

Re:Not pointless.. (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422234)

They don't care, but other people involved very well might.

I don't care, either, actually. It's just something for people should be aware of.

Re:Not pointless.. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421950)

What you are missing is that this gives the power not to the heirs of the deceased but to the executors of their will. This is generally someone chosen by the individual before they die. Of course, if you haven't done this then the court will apoint someone (usually a spouse, parent, child) to perform this function.

Re:Not pointless.. (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421564)

It has been very hard in the past for members of the deceased to close down their social networking accounts

I think they're dead, so mouse clicking and password entering become quite a chore when you go all stiff and whatnot.

(I know you meant "members of the deceased's family," I am on my lunch.)

Indeed. (1)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424548)

A friend of mine died 5 years ago. I still get suggestions to link to him as a friend on some social networking sites. Creeps me the hell out.

Does this mean...? (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421518)

That the Singularity will not come for Ray Kurzweil?

Probably redundant... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421592)

...since the administrator of an estate normally has power of attorney. This law may make it easier for administrators to convince Google et al of that fact without resorting to court orders, though.

Re:Probably redundant... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422712)

...since the administrator of an estate normally has power of attorney. This law may make it easier for administrators to convince Google et al of that fact without resorting to court orders, though.

So ... then we can expect "power of attorney" phishing scams to start liberating people from their on-line accounts?

Seriously, before this should be allowed to happen, you really do need a verifiable, court supported document. At least, I hope you would ... just sending an email saying "HI, I'm the executor for the following accounts whose owners are now dead" should not cut it.

Re:Probably redundant... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424224)

Seriously, before this should be allowed to happen, you really do need a verifiable, court supported document.

That would be the one appointing you administrator of the estate: the same one you use to gain access to bank accounts.

... just sending an email saying "HI, I'm the executor for the following accounts whose owners are now dead" should not cut it.

You don't get to be the administrator of an estate just by saying that you are.

Mortality creeping in (2)

Aerynvala (1109505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421622)

I've got a mutual agreement with a couple of different friends. They'll be able to access and attend to my accounts, and I theirs, whenever one of us dies. Not just online stuff, but dealing with personal computer stuff that family really doesn't need to be dealing with. We're all single, and happy to remain that way, so we won't have spouses to do that for us. In my social circle two people have died in the past 5 years and have had their blog account memorialized. I'm not one for sentiment, but it helps that the accounts were neither deleted nor just left without explanation. Granted, this wasn't on facebook, but presumably people who use that service frequently would feel similarly.

I'm not sure what's more surprising... (0)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421644)

That they apparently have people in Oklahoma, or that they have internet access!

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (3, Informative)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421954)

Of course there are people here. This is where all the people from the coasts go when they realize that the job market where they are sucks, the people are all jerks, and it costs too much to live there.

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422704)

Of course there are people here. This is where all the people from the coasts go when they realize that the job market where they are sucks, the people are all jerks, and it costs too much to live there.

Sounds logical, up until you consider the fact that there are provinces of Canada with higher populations than Oklahoma.

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (2)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425936)

Of course there are people here. This is where all the people from the coasts go when they realize that the job market where they are sucks, the people are all jerks, and it costs too much to live there.

Ha ha HAHHAHAHAAA ha *heh *heh* *can't breath* ha , he he he,

If they think the job market is bad on the coast, wait till they get to OK. When I left, people were fighting over jobs at McDonalds. Granted, that was a while back in a really bad recession, but I doubt it is much better or that you'll find as good of jobs there. Then there the work ethic. NYers would do fine, but people from the PNW will find a harsh change to their slacker work ethic when "free sodas in the break room" becomes "time to lean, time to clean". As for people being jerks, so long as you can handle redneck Christian bigots, you should do fine. It is cheap to live there. I could go there and buy a house for less than my annual salary in Seattle. It's also cheap because there is nothing to spend your money on unless you like Bud Lite, Rodeos, and pick up trucks.

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422092)

No - i'm sorry - we're still all Tee-Pee's and we have been using smoke signals in binary for quite a while... Have you not heard of the TeeSeePee-ISeeSmoke protocol?

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422246)

that dead people in oklahoma give a shit, or that people in oklahoma can read?

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (1)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424574)

IIRC, one of the Internet's most important routing hubs is in a building in Oklahoma.

Re:I'm not sure what's more surprising... (1)

WastedMeat (1103369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34425964)

Seriously, what warrants all of the Oklahoma bashing? I lived in Tulsa until college and it is a wonderful city. My mother did human resources at the worlds largest aircraft maintenance facility, while my stepdad worked at an enormous hub for what was then MCI. We had an 80 acre ranch that was within reasonable biking distance of a downtown with fifty story buildings. The city was laced with well over 100 miles of dedicated bike paths through parks and along waterways, and you could kayak in the river downtown. The state gave me free degrees in math and physics that were apparently worth a damn as I am currently several years into a PhD at a decent grad school elsewhere. It is one of the reddest states in the nation, but in a two party system that only means that a slight majority is homogenous. Why does the state have such a reputation?

Good ided but.. what does that make them .. you (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34421650)

Ok, so a fairly sensible provision, statutes need to evolve with this sort of thing.

But.. Is there some sort of proviso that you must immediately announce (in a decent manner..) the death of the accounts owner if you use it to conduct any public affairs, such as replying to a forum message, private message, email message, etc.

Or can you -only- use it to wrap up the accounts? are you obliged to close the accounts as fast as possible?

I'm not suggesting you should have to post 'this person is dead' messages all over the internet, just that you must clearly state you are the deceased's executor if using the account to leave any messages in private or public forums.

There is a real potential here for 'post mortem fraud..'

Re:Good ided but.. what does that make them .. you (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422050)

I would think you would only be able to mark the account as a dead persons account.
Another interesting question is how you determine who the owner of an account is and how many accounts were opened by that person. They could have used a fake identity to register the account (which in this day and age, is the only sane thing to do). On the flip side, they could say in their will that "thus and such is my facebook account", but what if it really isn't? The only way to know with reasonable surety is if they also left the password in which case the whole law is moot as they could just log in.

Re:Good ided but.. what does that make them .. you (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422448)

All that depends on your instructions in your will. They are only permitted to do what you instruct them to do with the accounts, whether that be provide for their continued operation or simply shut them down . Anything else is a violation of existing estate laws.

The law itself is quite short. The "where otherwise authorized" bit is the key part. This law only applies if you instruct them to do something with the accounts.

Section 1. NEW LAW A new section of law to be codified by the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 269 of Title 58, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows :

The executor or administrator of an estate shall have the power, where otherwise authorized, to take control or, conduct, continue, or terminate any accounts of a deceased person on any social networking website, any microblogging or short message service website or any e-mail service websites.

Section 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2010

https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/legislation/52nd/2010/2R/HB/2800.pdf [ok.gov]

New password recovery option? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422318)

Forgot password?
Lost access to registered Mail account?
Owner died and you're the heir?

Is it me or would that look REALLY scary?

Peace of mind (1)

preflex (1840068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422494)

It's good to know that my children will be able to cherish my facebook account long after i'm gone. It is a prize that will be handed down through generations. To think, a hundred years from now, my great-great-grandchildren will be able to log in as me and "poke" all my dead friends. They can surf while logged in as me, and facebook's trackers will add the viewed sites to my advertising profile. This way, facebook will have a way of delivering incredibly well-targeted ads to them (as they will have generations of data to use). It warms my heart.

Stars and strips (3, Funny)

shuz (706678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34422590)

To my darling wife I bequeath my ebay(tm) account with the 100,000+ power seller star status. To my loved sister I bequeath my facebook(tm) account with 4999 friends and 300,000 acre strips of land in Farmville(tm). Finally to my brother who has helped me weather all the storms of my life I bequeath my WOW account with the Shadow Priest with the 6600 gear rating.

Re:Stars and strips (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34425606)

Finally to my brother who has helped me weather all the storms of my life I bequeath my WOW account with the Shadow Priest with the 6600 gear rating.

Blizzard says you don't own it, but this is proof you're trying to trade accounts, so have a banhammer!

I'm alive and I can't do it (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34423620)

Even I, still alive, cannot regain access to my MySpace account, because I lost access to the email address and forgot the password. There is the "salute" process. It doesn't work. They don't even respond.

Passwordwise? (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34423734)

The article was pretty vague on a skim-read regarding the method of closure:

legal warrant on behalf the estate for those left behind? Facebook no longer demands proof of ID via one-time cellphone "authentication." Meaning, John P. Smith from New York and another John P. Smith from New York can falsely claim based on legal names that the accounts are both theirs (plead errors leading to the creation of dupe accounts or something.)

just keeping my password? the law would need to force it out of me in life --FAT CHANCE! we all know what happens to information stores at the hands of "trusted" others, like your ex-girlfriend's password and racy emails, etc.

Option two is more sane --forcing surreptitious violators to authenticate normally, meaning, two John P. Smiths and only one email address, and only one correct password residing in the brain of the deceased, then I don't see how an unwilling living FB user will give away his FB login and password before he dies for the benefit of tying loose ends that no dead man would be there to need to deal with... let alone their e-mail creds for indirect access to resetting FB

Facebook2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34423942)

Facebook should add a binary field to their DB that indicates if someone is alive or deceased. Then they should clone the web site and launch www.facebook2.com. (Note: I'm assuming the domain name facebook.com is only defined in one place.) This way, advertisers can market their services as appropriate to either Facebook proper or Facebook2.

I know this doesn't solve the issue of who can flip the bit. I'll leave that to the lawyers.

Code is law. (1)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34424508)

Oklahoma's law seems a very good clarification of this issue, and it provides companies like Facebook with a good way to authenticate notifications of a customer's death.

But I don't live there, so I have some Python scripts waiting for that day.

That's to make sure that my Facebook friends get notified that "Apuleius may be attending Apuleius's funeral."

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