By the end of the century, there will probably be more dead people on Facebook than living, according to a new study.
Last week, Carl Öhman and David Watson from Oxford's internet institute published a document predicting that the number of dead profiles will exceed living profiles on the social network in the year 2070.
And it is just based on current Facebook membership numbers . If the social network continues to grow at its current rate of 13% per year, the number of dead profiles on Facebook will reach 4.9 billion. At the end of the century. For comparison, Facebook reports that it has 2.38 billion users active on the website at least once a month.
But the authors say that landmarks are not what is important. The point in their paper was to raise the question of how these data will be preserved for future generations.
"The results should not be interpreted as a prediction of the future, but as a comment on it current development and an opportunity to shape the future we are heading for, "says author author Öhman, a doctoral student at OII.
"Facebook is just an example of what awaits a platform with similar connectivity and global reach," he added.
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Co-author David Watson, also a graduate student at the British University, added : "Never before in history has such a large archive of human behavior and culture been united in one place. Managing this archive will in some way be managing our history.
" It is therefore important that we ensure access These historical data are not limited to a single for-profit business. It is also important to ensure that future generations can use our digital heritage to understand their history. "
Watson suggested that Facebook" invites historians, archives, archaeologists, and ethics "to help cure these data.
" This is not just about finding solutions that will be sustainable over the next few years but possibly for many decades to come, "says Watson.
Currently, Facebook allows users to" memorialize "an account if a person they know is passing by, keeping the profile up, but stopping anyone from logging in. Facebook also allows verified closest family members to remove their lover's profile after they die if they choose.