Abstract - The Information Society 29(3)

The Digital Remains: Social Media and Practices of Online Grief

Jessa Lingel

This paper analyzes comments posted in response to articles and blog posts discussing Facebook’s policies on the pages of deceased site members. These virtual discourses reflect the socio-cultural importance of social media policies in everyday life that is increasingly a blend of online and offline interaction.  The analysis reveals themes of contested ownership of online identities, resistance to unilateral institutional policies, and social media site users’ complex relationship to the preservation of virtual content. As a still-evolving phenomenon, virtual grief elucidates wider cultural trends at work in the construction of identity and community online.


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