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What happens to your Facebook account after you die?

Last Updated May 4, 2019 at 5:46 pm PDT

FILE- In this March 13, 2019, file photo Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are are displayed on an iPhone in New York. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are down. All three social media platforms, including Facebook Messenger, were not loading as of early Sunday, April 14. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

WORLD (660 NEWS) — The number of dead Facebook users could soon outnumber the living, according to a study from Oxford University. As users begin to die, the number of “dead profiles” will increase. The study anticipates that number could be in the hundreds of millions.

It can be painful or even a little creepy receiving birthday or anniversary reminders through social media from those who have passed away. Fortunately, there are a few ways you avoid resurfacing on social media after your death.

  • Delete your account or leave instructions and passwords in a will.
  • Have your relatives request Facebook to memorialize the account.

“Facebook realizes that people do die and they will turn the page into a status where it can’t make new posts so that we aren’t talking from beyond the grave,” said Tom Keenan, a technology expert with the University of Calgary. “People can still leave tributes and things like that.”

READ MORE:¬†Facebook bans ‘dangerous individuals’ cited for hate speech

If left alone, you could end up haunting friends and family, at least digitally, for years. Unless of course, you want to have an eternal digital footprint. In which case, there is a way¬†that allows you to keep tweeting in perpetuity after you’re gone.

Others like the Tweet Hereafter have created a final resting place on the web for Tweets from those who have passed on.