[Air-L] live profiles, dead people

Carmel L. Vaisman carmelv at gmail.com
Sat Jul 4 01:13:35 PDT 2009

Hi Mariana.

A similar phenomenon happened in Israel with blogs of young people who died 
in terror attacks or during army service and some after committing suicide. 
the blogs got a lot of traffic of people writing to the dead but it wasn't 
just family and friends, in fact they were the minority - many people who 
didn't' know them read their former entries and got to know them and spoke 
to them after their death. Another interesting phenomenon was that in a few 
cases of dead teenagers their parents took over the blog and shared their 
memories. The blog became very popular with the parent now blogging. I 
don't' know anyone who documented this in research but I'm doing a long 
ethnography in the Israeli blogosphere so i had the opportunity to witness 
that. I thought it raised an interesting issue of privacy of the dead, since 
parents didn't know their children's passwords but got cooperation from the 
blog host owners to reactivate the blog. Did you witness anything similar?

Carmel Vaisman
Twitter @carmelvaisman

> On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 8:50 PM, Mariana Matos <
> marianasantiagodematos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello there!
>> I've been on the list for almost 2 months, but, until now, I've just read
>> what people were writing. And I must say there are many interesting 
>> topics
>> being discussed! However, I'd like to introduce myself and share with you
>> all information about my research subject.
>> I'm a psychologist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a PhD student at PUC-Rio
>> (the Catholic University). I'm part of a group of researchers who have 
>> been
>> studying the psychological and social impacts of the use of technology 
>> such
>> as the Internet, cell phones, games, and some others. The group is leaded 
>> by
>> Professor Ana Maria Nicolaci-da-Costa, who's been researching on this
>> subject since the very beggining of the use of Internet in Brazil.
>> My research in on the habit of writing scraps, on Orkut (the most popular
>> social network site in Brazil), to people who died and left their 
>> profiles
>> active. As you should know, if someone dies, the profile may still be
>> active, what happens if no one deletes it or asks the site to delete it.
>> I've been observing that a substantial number of dead people's profile
>> receive a great amount of messages, writen often by close friends and
>> family. In these messages, they "talk" about their feelings, tell the 
>> dead
>> about their quotidian (i.e. what they did in the weekend), talk about 
>> their
>> memories etc.
>> I have the impression that this is a brazilian phenomenon, and I'd like 
>> to
>> ask you if you see something similar in your countries, even if people 
>> use
>> other SNS, like Facebook or any other. Do you know people who died and 
>> let
>> their profiles? Do you know if they still receive messages, even if more
>> than one year have passed since the death?
>> Best regards,
>> Mariana Matos-Silva
>> PhD Student
>> PUC-Rio
>> Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
>> _______________________________________________
>> The Air-L at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
>> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
>> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at:
>> http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
>> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
>> http://www.aoir.org/

More information about the Air-L mailing list