Facebook Dead Users May Outnumber The Living by 2070: Study Says

Pappi Hex

Everyday people sign up on different social media platforms to interact and meet new people. However, with the rate in which these platforms are increasing becoming popular, accounts of the dead on social media platforms might surpass the living.

According to a study, the accounts of  dead people on Facebook in the next 50 years might surpass that of Facebook users living.

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The study published n the journal 'Big Data and Society' predicts that about 1.4 billion Facebook users will die before 2100.

"We project the future accumulation of profiles belonging to deceased Facebook users. Our analysis suggest that a minimum of 1.4 billion users will pass away before 2100 if Facebook ceases to attract new users as of 2018. If the network continues expanding at current  rates, however, this number will exceed 4.9 billion," the study read.

However, if user growth declines on the social media network, living profiles will become the minority on Facebook in the year 2070.

"..the dead will in fact overtake the living on Facebook in about 50 years," the study added.

The unanswered question now is what will happen to those accounts? the digital remains.

"These statistics give rise to new and difficult questions around who has the right to all this data, how should it be managed in the best interests of the families and friends of the deceased and its use by future historians to understand the past," said the lead author Carl Othman.

The analysts used two likely scenarios to depict how the future would fall in between the two.

The first cases states that if the number of Facebook users ceases to increase as of 2018, Asia's share of the dead will increase to 44% by the end of the century.

However, the second scenario says that users will continue to grow by the percent rate of 13% every year. In this case, Africa would have the major share of the dead which indicates that the number of deceased might rise as  high as 4.9 billion before the end of the century.

"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," Othman said.

"Facebook is merely an example of what awaits any platform with similar connectivity and global reach."

To ensure a sustainable management of our digital remains, the second analyst, David Watson suggested that "Facebook should invite historians, archivists, archaeologists and ethicists to participate in the process of curating the vast volume of accumulated data that we leave behind as we pass away. This is not just about finding solutions that will be sustainable for the next couple of years, but possibly for many decades ahead."

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