A new analysis of the Internet Institute of Oxford (OII), predicts that in fifty years there is a possibility to the dead outnumber the living on Facebook.
The analysis predicts that, according to 2018 user levels, at least 1,400 million members will die before 2100. In this scenario, the dead could surpass the living in 2070. If the largest social network in the world continues to expand at the same pace Current, however, the number of deceased users could reach 4.9 billion before the end of the century.
"These statistics give questions about who is entitled to all these data, how they should be handled in the best interest of the families and friends of the deceased and their use by future historians to understand the past," he said. The main author, Carl Öhman, PhD student at the OII.
"At the social level, we have just begun to ask these questions and we have a long way to go." The management of our digital remains will affect all those who use social networks, since all of us will one day die and leave our data. The totality of the profiles of deceased users is also equivalent to something larger than the sum of its parts, which is, or will at least become, part of our global digital heritage. "
Co-author David Watson explained: "Never before in history has such a vast archive of human behavior and culture been gathered in one place, the control of this archive will be, in a sense, the control of our history. It's important that we make sure that access to this historical data is not limited to a single, for-profit company, it's also important to make sure that future generations can use our digital heritage to understand its history. "
The researchers believe that Facebook should invite historians, archivists, archaeologists and ethicists to participate in the process of managing the vast volume of accumulated data that we leave when our users die. It is not just about finding solutions that are sustainable for the next couple of years, but for many decades.