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Memories may no longer be the only things that live on after we die. Apparently, so can our social media presence.
At least one new online social media service is keeping those we leave behind "updated" on our Twitter and Facebook content, according to a report on UK's The Guardian.
"It offends some, and delights others. Imagine if people started to see it as a legitimate but small way to live on. Cryogenics costs a fortune; this is free and I'd bet it will work better than a frozen head," it quoted Dave Bedwood, creative partner of Lean Mean Fighting Machine, as saying.
He also admitted this may divide people "on a gut level, before you even get to the philosophical and ethical arguments."
Lean Mean Fighting Machine is a London-based ad agency developing a new Twitter app called LivesOn, which is to launch in March.
The LivesOn service uses Twitter bots that try to mimic a user's online habits such as favoriting tweets or sharing links.
Here's the creepy part: the profile it creates of the user will continue those habits even after the user has died - true to its tagline, "When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting."
The Guardian report quoted Mia Smith, a business owner in her mid-40s, as being interested in the service.
"But I'm not sure who'd be interested in reading a computer-generated 'me.' In the cold light of day, it is a very conceited thing to do," she said.
Also, the Guardian report said anyone signing up for LivesOn will be asked to nominate an executor who will have control of the account.
Meanwhile, another service, DeadSocial, puts that power in the deceased's hands by letting the user set up messages to be sent out posthumously via Facebook and Twitter.
"It allows you to enhance your memories, extend relationships and create something of value for those who are still alive," said creator James Norris.
But Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Centre in Massachusetts, said apps that create artificial messages on behalf of the deceased are more problematic.
"What do we do if someone uses this new extension of time in a way that torments or stalks its receivers? ... Death is the ultimate lack of accountability," she said. — TJD, GMA News