Tweet after death

By Leah Kuntz — ‘After your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting.’ That is the slogan for the new _LivesOn twitter service created by Dave Bedwood. Bedwood, an executive at Lean Mean Fighting Machines advertising company in London, started the program that allows Twitter-users to continue their Twitter posthumously.

The program was started by Bedwood and some of his colleagues as a study for Queen Mary University, a college in London. The service began as an artificial intelligence program, but has begun to grow into a popular service many have taken to using.

The account is started before the individual is deceased, and will remain after their passing. To start, an account has to be made, an executive to maintain the account after death has to be chosen, and then the system will do the rest. The service will analyze the user’s current tweets and then attempt to recreate tweets similar to those the original user would have made. The way of speaking the user has will also be taken into consideration, and this also will be imitated. The user has the ability to affect these imitation processes while still alive, checking in on the progress the system has made on the development of the _LivesOn account. They will be able to provide feedback on the progress made, and then the service will continue according to changes the user wants made.

Once the user has passed on, the executive chosen prior to the user’s death will be able to monitor the continued tweets being made and fix any problems. It is also up to those executives to decide when enough is enough, and finally end the stream of tweets. That way, even though the entire idea of the service is to maintain the deceased’s media presence, the user will not be tweeting for forever, but only up until the point in time the executive chooses.

The new program, though somewhat frightening in nature, has provided a good answer to the question of what happens to our social media accounts post mortem.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]