Author(s): Iphgenia Baal
No one wants to end up #RIP with 45 likes, your death traded as someone else's fleeting social capital, your last inane status update being the one that defines you for all time, your 'Friends' competitive grieving, and misery tourists perusing your profile. But Facebook has become the channel for broadcasting news of the recently deceased, with the number of "memorialized" Facebook accounts soon to eclipse accounts of the living. Mark Zuckerberg is a merchant of death. Whether it's the demise of another geriatric celebrity, or that your best friend from college took a pill and jumped off a roof, nothing makes your News Feed blow up like someone being dead. There is a rush to tag the deceased in albums of lo-res photos, to share favorite songs as YouTube links, and to post long, dolorous, largely misspelled status updates. Facebook claims the deceased as its own, commodifying misery and entering it into its usual agenda: stalking your online shopping habits, advertising clothes, confused political declarations, and wondering why you haven't had a baby yet. Set in a London where Mick Jagger's kids rule the social scene, Death and Facebook is a true account of a dysfunctional love affair that ends in disaster, posthumously pieced together from threads in Facebook Messenger, archived email, saved SMS, and a Google search history.