Department

English

College

Arts and Humanities

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

The advent of Facebook has created an explosion of social media accounts, to the point where most companies and citizens in a Westernized nation cannot cope without one. Since Facebook has been around the longest, it is natural that the social media company was on the forefront of creating memorial pages for the users who had passed away. Because accounts from deceased users are so closely tied to identity, it had raised an important issue about what to do with them. As of 2017, once Facebook Corporation receives confirmation that a user has died, the user’s account shifts into a memorial page where past wall posts and pictures become frozen, the word Remembering appears next to the profile picture, and all the user’s friends automatically carry over. Even more importantly, vacant user accounts and memorial pages still hold an authority and place in the Facebook network, a concept known as Actor Network Theory, because other users can comment on the wall posts and hold conversations. This capstone project explores rhetoricians’ and psychologists’ analyses of wall posts on Facebook memorial pages. Scholars have focused on group power dynamics, trolls, grief groups, continuing bonds theory with the deceased, and how rituals in Western society have shifted to accommodate online presence post-mortem. Facebook memorial pages have changed the way Western society communicates about death.

Instructor’s Name

Jennifer Veltsos

Degree

Master of Arts in English, Technical Communication Option

Document Type

Video

Death 2.0 - Facebook Memorial Pages.pdf (480 kB)
Sara Koktan Capstone Paper

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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