THE DEAD may take over Facebook within fifty years, researchers have revealed.
As more and more people pass away and leave “ghost profiles” behind, they will eventually overtake the number of living users.
The dead will outnumber the living on Facebook within 50 years[/caption]
Profiles of the deceased could number nearly 5billion by 2100, scientists at the University of Oxford predict.
They say Facebook will become an enormous mortuary for people’s digital personas that may need historians to look after it.
“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,” said David Watson, an expert at the Oxford Internet Institute who worked on the research.
“This is not just about finding solutions that will be sustainable for the next couple of years, but possibly for many decades ahead.”
Profiles of the deceased could number 5billion by 2100[/caption]
The team combined United Nations data on global death rates with Facebook data scraped from the company’s Audience Insights feature.
Their analysis predicts that, based on 2018 user numbers, at least 1.4billion Facebook members will die before 2100.
Under this scenario, the dead will outnumber the living on the platform by 2070.
If Facebook continues to expand at current rates, however, the number of deceased users could reach as high as 4.9billion before the end of the century.
Researchers said the site has a responsibility to future generations to look after its records of the dead.
Mr Watson added: “Never before in history has such a vast archive of human behaviour and culture been assembled in one place.
“Controlling this archive will, in a sense, be to control our history. It is therefore important that we ensure that access to these historical data is not limited to a single for-profit firm.
“It is also important to make sure that future generations can use our digital heritage to understand their history.”
TOP STORIES IN TECH
In other Facebook news, the platform recently left half a billion users’ private data exposed on Amazon’s cloud servers in the latest of a string of security breaches.
It was recently slammed for a “sleazy trick” after being caught asking for passwords to people’s email accounts.
Children could soon be banned from liking posts on Facebook and Instagram following an addiction warning from Prince Harry.
Are you worried about what happens to your Facebook after you die? Let us know in the comments!
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.