The world’s biggest virtual graveyard might be unfolding right before our eyes.
Hachem Sadikki, a PhD candidate in statistics at the University of Massechusetts, has been crunching some numbers, and estimates that if Facebook continues with their policy of not deleting dead users, profiles of those who have expired will outnumber the live users by 2098.
Some of the assumptions Hachem considered for his calculation were that growth in new Facebook users would begin to slow, and their policy of ‘memorializing’ a deceased’s persons page rather than removing it would continue unchanged. Given that Facebook has over 1.5B users worldwide, it’s easy to see the potential of it becoming an enormous virtual graveyard over time.
Digital Beyond, an online legacy planning company, estimates that 970,000 FB users worldwide will die this year, compared to 580,000 in 2012. (Who knew there were online legacy planning companies…after seeing how many FB users are dying, guess there’s a business model in there somewhere).
Apparently, when asked to estimate when there would be more dead users than live and breathing ones, Facebook declined to comment.
It gives the line “I see dead people” a whole new spin. Just as disturbing too.