Tweets for the dead offered in new program

by | Mar 11, 2013 | News


Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

By Marco Di Meo

Twitter is offering its users the opportunity to tweet from beyond the grave.

British ad agency Lean Mean Fighting Machine has developed the program, LovesOn, which will allow its users to continue to tweet in their after-life.

The Huffington Post reports LivesOn will start a second twitter account that adds “_LivesOn” to the user’s current twitter handle.

The project will study the user’s tweets, favourites, retweets and even writing style to replicate the user.

Author of the Online PR and Social Media Series, Randall Craig, told Humber News that while interesting, there isn’t enough life for this idea.

“I think it’s creepy on one side and on the other hand it’s very interesting for people to give feedback when they’re not here,” Craig said.

“I don’t see a life for this thing, pardon the pun. It’s tough enough for someone when a loved one passes away plus they have to contact the site and decide whether or not to make the tweets public or not,” Craig said.

LivesOn spokesman Dave Bedwood told the Huffington Post that the accounts will begin tweeting while the user is still alive so it can improve its mimicking of the user’s writing style.

Craig also said there can be a fear of identity theft with this program.

“This automated service pops up and the user is not there to defend themselves. We could see a post-mortem identity theft,” Craig said.

The user will give the password to, an “executor,” as Bedwood calls them. Once the user dies this person will then determine if the LivesOn account will go private or public.

Bedwood also said the program is more of an artificial intelligence experiment right now but as of March 5. More than 7,000 users have signed up for it.

Media Services Specialist of Humber TV, Drew Campbell told Humber News he thinks it is a strange program.

“I think it’s strange. I have a deceased friend whose brother still runs his Facebook page and while it’s nice to keep the memories alive for friends and family members he obviously has no control over what’s being said,” Campbell said in an email.

“Even if this LivesOn twitter is an AI scenario that has ‘studied’ your habits and syntax it’s not ever what you would choose to write. It sounds like an interesting experiment but ultimately I’m leaning more towards it being a morbid digital gimmick and I can’t see anyone taking it too seriously,” Campbell said in an email.

[twitter_hashtag hash= “LivesOn” number= “10” title= “Twitter LivesOn”]