It happens that Facebook has more dead people that living people owning an account. This is according to a report issued by academics from Oxforn Internet Institute(OII).
The report covered that in 50 years, the social media company will become a “digital graveyard” with the number of the deceased outnumbering the ones that are living by 2070.
With tow scenarios in focus, the first one claims that no new users join as of 2018; the second assumes that Facebook continues to grow by its current rate of 13% globally, every year, until each market reaches saturation.
The reality, of course, will fall somewhere in between.
Based on the first scenario, at least 1.4 billion members will die before 2100, and the dead will outnumber the living by 2070.
However, if Facebook continues to expand at current rates – as per the second scenario – the number of deceased users could reach as high as 4.9 billion before the end of the century.
The academics warn that the trend that could have grave implications for how we treat our digital heritage in the future.
“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 lead author Carl Öhman, a doctoral candidate at the OII.
“On a societal level, we have just begun asking these questions and we have a long way to go.
“The management of our digital remains will eventually affect everyone who uses social media, since all of us will one day pass away and leave our data behind.
“But the totality of the deceased user profiles also amounts to something larger than the sum of its parts.
“It is, or will at least become, part of our global digital heritage.”
Facebook, which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram , is the world’s largest social networking platform.
The social network has a system in place for when a user dies, which allows a “legacy contact” to take over their account and turn it into a memorial space rather than an active profile.
Facebook said recently that more than 30 million people view memorialised profiles on the platform every month.
Co-author David Watson, who also a DPhil student at the OII, said that Facebook is merely an example of what awaits any platform with similar connectivity and global reach.
He called on these sites to 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.