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Facebook Account to Be User’s Digital Asset – Oklahoma Passed Law, Nebraska and Oregon to Follow
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Oklahoma has already passed a law that allows friends or relatives to take control of social media accounts of a deceased person who dies as resident of the state.

A Nebraska bill that is in the making follows the same guidelines as the Oklahoma law and would treat Facebook, Twitter as well as email accounts as digital assets that could be closed or allowed to remain open by any lawful representative of a deceased person.

Following complaints from parents and relatives of several deceased who were not granted access to the last words and mails by social media networks, lawmakers have come together to hold that the family of the deceased has as much right to the social media accounts of the family member they lost, as they have to his/her personal mementos.


Currently, Facebook’s policy states that deaths must be reported through an online form. Upon receiving the report of death, the account of the deceased is frozen, certain information is removed, and only recognized Facebook friends are allowed access to the profile and wall of the deceased. However, this leaves family and parents in a quandary, as most members of a family respect each other’s privacy and do not befriend each other on social networks. So, according to Facebook’s current policy, parents, who are not friends on the Facebook, cannot enter the account or look at the Facebook profile or last comments and posts of the children they lost.

Lawmakers are changing all that. Oklahoma was the first, now Nebraska and Oregon are to follow.

Sen. John Wightman has sponsored a motion in the Nebraska state bar association and told the media that he expects the Judiciary Committee to pass the bill and send it to the Legislature.

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On the recent turn of events, Facebook spokesman Tucker Bounds said that the company was surprised by the Oklahoma law and was working with Nebraska legislators on the current proposal.

The Oregon state bar association, too has formed a group to work on the issue holding the social media accounts and emails on public services are part of a deceased’s estate.


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