I'm Evan Mahoney, Founder of Profile Peace. It was November of 2015 when I received news that a close family member passed away unexpectedly. It was devastating to lose a loved one, and my family tried our best to bring closure to the estate. While our family was grieving, we arranged the funeral service, hired an attorney, appointed an executor, and sorted through financial records and material possessions among a myriad of other required tasks. It was a challenge to bring organization and clarity to an otherwise unfortunate situation no one planned for. We thought all estate related matters were dealt with.
However, during this same time period, I was using LinkedIn for work and saw our family member's profile automatically appear as a suggestion for "People You May Know." It startled me and stirred up emotions and memories. I then proceeded to contact the major social networks, provided the required information and documentation, and had her profiles removed successfully. It made me think I can't be the only person dealing with the problem of online identities living on after death. I began to ask questions and connect with others and the similar stories people shared with me were endless. Facebook was reminding friends about birthdays for users that passed away, Twitter profiles lived on long after death, LinkedIn was notifying connections of work anniversaries for deceased employees, Pinterest pages remained live with no living person behind them, Instagram posts continued to receive comments posthumous, and the list goes on...
As friends asked their friends and colleagues shared my experience with others, the network effect had proven that this was a a real problem that needed to be solved at this point in time. Our lives are increasingly connected online and social media is now a natural extension of our physical reality, yet we fail to plan for our digital assets like social media profiles. There has to be a better way, and as technology evolves and progresses, we too must evolve and enhance our tools and planning efforts. From this tragedy emerged a real opportunity to help other families in need, and ProfilePeace was born to help online profiles of the deceased rest in peace.
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