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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Twitter's Deceased-user Policy

I guess when you are a social network you have to consider these things. Twitter, as reported by cnet's  Josh Lowensohn, has apparently created a policy on how it should deal with the passing of users. I had not even considered that there should be such policies but it makes a heap of sense. What should happen to the musings of a loved one? Will it be a painful reminder or a testament to the life and times of the individual? When my grandfather passed away over a decade ago he left behind years of journals, I'm not sure which relative ended up with them or what there fate was. It's obvious that we are living in a very different world than my grandfather grew up in, in our world we have the opportunity to leave a little bit of ourselves behind for future generations to ponder and perhaps gain a bit of insight into who we are (where). Our legacy may very well be our 140 character thoughts, our blog posts, our YouTube videos, and the things we've "Liked" on Facebook. I hope that all of these services have or will develop deceased-user policies to preserve and protect our identities.

If we are notified that a Twitter user has passed away, we can remove their account or assist family members in saving a backup of their public Tweets.
Please contact us with the following information:
  1. Your full name, contact information (including email address), and your relationship to the deceased user.
  2. The username of the Twitter account, or a link to the profile page of the Twitter account.
  3. A link to a public obituary or news article.
You can contact us at, or by mail or fax:
Twitter Inc.,
c/o: Trust & Safety

795 Folsom Street, Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94107
Fax: 415-222-9958
We will respond by email with any additional information we might need.
Please note that we cannot allow access to the account or disclose other non-public information regarding the account