What Happens to Your TikTok Account When You Die?

Social

When it comes to social media, many of us don’t have second thoughts about making accounts and sharing content. In fact, thousands of users have even found a way to make a living on these sites, especially on TikTok.

However, as more creators get older, they are beginning to wonder what happens to their TikTok account when they’re no longer around to use it.

TikTok’s Approach to Deceased Creator Accounts



funeral

There are several ways that TikTok approaches the death of a creator.

No Memorialization or Request for Permanent Deletion by Next of Kin

Unlike other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, TikTok has no existing features for requesting permanent deletion by family members or representatives of their estate.

With this, only the original creator or someone with access to their log-in details can request permanent deletion.

Related: How to Memorialize an Instagram Account When Someone Dies

In addition, there is no option for memorialization on TikTok. Memorialization works when social media platforms add Remembering or similar words next to a username.

Through this, memorialization signals other users that an account owner has passed and a host of features to prevent hacking, changes in privacy settings, and so on.

In TikTok, there is no way to inform followers outright that an owner of an account may already be deceased, except for a post or an updated bio.

Automatic Account Username Change

If you have not logged into your TikTok account for an extended period, it will fall under its active monitoring for account inactivity. For example, if you have not logged into your TikTok account within 180 days, TikTok will revert your username into random numbers.

Should you leave your account to become inactive, your content will continue to live on its platform indefinitely. However, it may no longer be directly attributable to you and your brand. In addition, this also opens up several risks for you, your brand, and your followers.

Why You Should Plan What to Do With Your TikTok Account After Death

While some users will be okay with leaving their accounts to fate, there are various reasons why this can be problematic, especially if you use TikTok to make money.



Person holding phone with TikTok

Prevent Impersonation by Hackers

By leaving your TikTok account inactive, you put yourself at risk of identity theft. When it comes to larger creator accounts, it may be possible that not all your followers know of your passing.

With this, imposters can use your image to get your followers to click phishing emails or participate in scams.

Protect Your Brand

Many creators have to work hard to build communities that resonate with their personal brand. With a range of images and videos in your likeness available on your account, hackers can easily download your content and manipulate them for their benefit.

Hackers can reshape your public image by using deep fakes, face-swapping apps, and voice-altering software.

Keep Your Monetization in Place

For many creators who monetize their social media platforms, their content doesn’t magically disappear once they have gone offline. So, while it is unfortunate that everyone will need to log off forever, you can try to make sure your content continues to make money for the people you love.

What Can Loved Ones Do With Your TikTok Account After Death?

If you want to make sure your TikTok account and your content doesn’t go to waste, here’s what you can do to prepare (just in case).



TikTok on iPhone

Let Friends and Family Members Manage Your Account

Before you pass, you can turn over your TikTok log-in details to your trusted contacts. With this, you can ask them to do several tasks.

For example, trusted contacts can update your bio, change your privacy settings, and clear your inbox. In addition, they can also delete some of your questionable content or even reach out to brands that you work with to let them know you have passed.

Related: How to Ask Instagram to Delete a Deceased Person’s Account

If you use your TikTok account to earn, you can instruct them on how to keep track of your affiliate marketing links and other forms of compensation due to you in exchange for the work you have already done.

By choosing to keep your profile active, you can better guard yourself against identity theft, fraud, or hackers creating a new account and claiming to be you. Beneficiaries can also choose to maintain your channel to protect your legacy online.

Request for Permanent Deletion of Your Account Through Contacts

Should you wish to make a quiet exit, you can request for friends, family members, or executors of your estate to permanently delete your account instead.

With this, you can effectively remove yourself and your content from TikTok, which means companies can no longer make money off your image.

If possible, you can even ask your trusted contacts to post one last video saying thank you to your followers for their support. Should you be aware of the possibility of your passing beforehand, you can also pre-record content that can help your family, friends, and followers cope with your loss.

Message TikTok for Support

While there are no formal features for your loved ones to gain access to your account with your log-in details, they can contact TikTok support as a last resort.

To process this, they should be able to provide proof of your relationship with them, documentary evidence of your death, and any supporting documents that show how you wanted your account to be managed.

Because there is no outright policy on this, there is no assurance that TikTok will grant access to your account. However, it is more likely that your contacts will be able to request a permanent deletion of your account instead.

Leave TikTok the Way You Want



Photo og TikTok on a smartphone

Grieving is difficult, especially when our image and likeness can live online long after we are gone. Regardless of how and when you want to exit TikTok, it’s crucial to make sure that the people who have your best interest at heart know about your plans.

To leave TikTok (and other social media platforms) the way you want, it is best to keep your wishes in writing through a letter to loved ones or included in a last will and testament. With this, you can choose to allow loved ones to benefit from your work or let your account rest in peace.



delete-social-media

Why Is It So Hard to Delete Social Media Accounts?

You can’t just go to your account settings, click Delete and watch your profile vanish into a collection of ones and zeroes. The Internet is very good at remembering things.


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