Facebook may have more dead user profiles than alive soon, study shows
Facebook has a creepy side according to a new study that states the social media platform might have more dead users than alive very soon.
The study, published by Big Data & Society, discovered that could be the truth within the next 50 years.
The journal used three types of data when doing the study. The first was looking at projected 21st century mortality rates. The second was projected population data and the third is Facebook user totals for every country and age group.
The researchers established two extreme scenarios, expecting reality to fall somewhere in the middle. The first “highly unlikely” scenario is that no new Facebook users join the platform as of 2018 and the number of dead profiles worldwide exceeds 500 million by 2060. In 2017, the figure reaches 1 billion and then by 2100, it hits 1.4 billion users who are dead.
That equates for 98 percent of the networks 1.43 billion users currently. By 2070, dead users outnumber the living on Facebook.
By the end of the century, 44 percent of the dead user profiles come from Asia.
The second scenario equates for Facebook accumulating users. It estimates the amount of dead users based on the platform having a global rate of 13 percent per year until almost everyone has a profile. The number of dead users won’t equal the living until the beginning of the 22nd century.
In this situation, there are 4.9 million dead profiles on Facebook.
The study was done for researchers and tech giants to consider what happens with all of the data and how it should be managed both ethically and respectfully.
"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," Lead author Carl Öhman, a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, said in a press release. "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."
"Never before in history has such a vast archive of human behaviour and culture been assembled in one place,” co-author David Watson, another doctoral candidate, added. “Controlling this archive will, in a sense, be to control our history. It is therefore important that we ensure that access to these historical data is not limited to a single for-profit firm. It is also important to make sure that future generations can use our digital heritage to understand their history."
So basically, Facebook is becoming a digital graveyard. Now THAT is spooky to think about.
In other Facebook news, the social media giant is suing a New Zealand-based company over fake Instagram accounts and likes.
At the beginning of the year, Facebook even reported more than half of its users could be fake. So, this could be a problem when considering how many dead profiles exist on the site.
What do you think of the amount of dead users profiles that Facebook has? Sound off in the comments below!
See more: 30 albums turning 10 in 2019