The final tweets of Freddy E., a Seattle rapper who posted chilling updates before committing suicide on Saturday, can still be seen by family, friends, and digital voyeurs. It is sadly not the first time that Twitter has served as a platform for a suicide note. Last month, King Capital Steez tweeted "The End" before taking his own life, and the status update still sits on the top of the account weeks later. Given the sensitive nature of suicide and the possibility of abuse with twisted retweets and replies, we would expect Twitter to have done something with these messages or the accounts with which they are associated. But, Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser tells us: "There is no specific 'suicide note' policy." So that's it, then? Nothing happens? We imagine family and loved ones might not appreciate the continued reminder of these tragic endings, which the whole world can find via a Google search.
For those people, Twitter offer recourse. Prosser directed us to this help center policy page "How to Contact Twitter About a Deceased User." A verified immediate family member or a person authorized to act on the behalf of the estate can have the account deactivated. It's a pretty arduous process—much more so than Facebook's memorialization feature: Twitter asks for a death certificate, a copy of a government ID from the person making the request, and a signed and notarized statement with contact information, the request, and a link or copy of the obituary.