Facebook profiles, dead or alive. No, seriously. Dead? Or alive?

BoingBoing reader Lord Andrew J. Andrews II sez,

The USA Today recently gave a brief report concerning the victims of the Virginia Tech Massacre: "Slain Students Pages to Stay on Facebook". The social networking website's administration decided that these students' profiles will not be taken down; instead, they will be remain frozen in their last updated state. This decision goes against Facebook's policy of removing profiles of the recently deceased out of respect for their privacy, but this is not a new phenomenon. There is simply no way for these websites to keep track of which of their users are dead or alive – the dead are all online now; they "live" on websites like Livejournal, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, or Flickr, and they're not going anywhere.

Here's a thoughtful post on his blog: Link.

Reader comment: Ren says,

I wrote this post on TerraNova the other year and tired to get a discussion going about the virtual after life along the lines of the Clock of the Long Now i.e. how would we maintain an online presence long after death (which was in part kicked off by another BB post): After me, after you