Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions, we've got (some) answers...

What is Afterlyfe?

Afterlyfe is a service which will store your past year's worth of posts to Twitter. Upon your eventual death, your last year's worth of tweets will be sent out on the anniversary of that tweet...every year. For eternity.* This behavior mimics the behavior of ghosts which have been reported to repeat the same actions before they died. In this manner, your own "ghost" will haunt the Internet for eternity.
* Note: "eternity" may actually be "until Twitter stops working".

Do you send out @replies and direct messages too?

No. That would be pretty annoying (and possibly traumatic) to those people to be getting your messages sent to them every year. We will not access your direct messages. Although there will not be any @replies, people may still see themselves mentioned in your updates. (There are options to filter out @ mentions in Account Settings.)

Will retweets be retweeted again?

There are options on how to handle retweets in Account Settings.

How do you know when I die?

One of two methods:

  1. You can have a "dead man switch". If you don't check in at least once each year and aren't actively tweeting, we'll assume you've died and your Twitter account will start tweeting your afterlife.
  2. Alternatively, someone can tell us. In your account page, you will see information about "Executor Access". This is information which should be passed to the executor of your estate or a trusted person such as your spouse or an adult family member. Upon your death, they can use the access code to start your online afterlife. (If they're jerks and don't do it, don't worry. The dead man switch can still activate...and you can decide if they have the ability to stop it or not.)

What if it's discovered I'm not really dead?

First of all, congratulations! If you are later discovered to be alive (after being lost at sea, missing in action, etc.), it's possible for us to reset your account and start storing your status updates again. However, an account reset requires the involvement from the site's staff. Please contact us directly. We will only deactivate an actively tweeting Afterlyfe account once, so please don't keep dying and coming back to life and asking us to reset it.

Can someone stop my "ghost" from sending updates?

Yes, if you want them to be able to. If you've given them permission to do so, the executor of your estate can freely enable or disable your ghost as often as they would like. This option is available in the event anyone in your family or some close friends find it to be traumatic for your "ghost" to continue online.

What if I don't want my account disabled?

You have the option to have it automatically re-enabled after a few years. If you select this option, even if the executor of your estate has disabled your "ghost", it will restart a few years later on its own and they cannot stop it. That, of course, assumes that Twitter (and your account) is still operating after that long.

When I sign in with my Twitter account, it says you need access to a bunch of stuff. Why?

There are five things Twitter says we'll have access to via the Twitter API. We'll explain each one here:

  1. Read Tweets from your timeline.
    Obviously if we're going to be posting your old tweets on the anniversary of that tweet, we'll need to be able to read your tweets.
  2. See who you follow, and follow new people.
    We actually don't need this...but access to it comes with "write" access that we request from Twitter. Rest assured, we don't care who you follow and will not make you follow any new people.
  3. Update your profile.
    Again, like followers, this comes with the API "write" access. We have no interest in changing your profile and will never do so. If we could access the Twitter API without asking for access to adding followers and updating your profile, we would.
  4. Post Tweets for you.
    This is why we need "write" access. Once you've died, Afterlyfe will kick in and start re-posting your last year of tweets on the anniversary of that tweet. We can't do that unless we have this permission.
  5. See your email address.
    If it looks like you haven't been active on Twitter in almost a year and you also haven't signed in to this site in just as long, we will use the e-mail address associated with your Twitter account to remind you to check in before we declare you "deceased" and your Afterlyfe account takes over your Twitter feed. E-mails will be sent out starting a month before Afterlyfe activation. We will never give your e-mail address out or use it for anything other than sending you the reminders to check in before Afterlyfe activates on your account.

Can my updates be edited before they're sent out?

No. What you sent out originally is exactly what will be sent out every year after you have passed on. Nobody will have editorial control over your "ghost" and no new updates can be added. (...except for the ability to filter out @ mentions.)

What if my account gets banned from Twitter after I die?

Your ghost must have been a real jerk. Sorry, if you're banned or your account disappears, there's nothing we can do. A Twitter ban will also end your Afterlyfe account.

Can't spammers use this to have you auto-tweet their marketing crap?

No. Anyone found to be using our service to send out spam will be removed from our system and permanently banned without refund. Spammers can die in a fire and go to Hell.

What happens if I stop using Twitter, but I'm still alive?

If you haven't posted to Twitter in almost a year, we'll e-mail you a reminder to check in to Afterlyfe to prevent your account from declaring you "deceased" and having Afterlyfe take over your Twitter feed. If you wish to deactivate Afterlyfe, you can do so in the Account Settings.

What happens if I don't have access to my Twitter account anymore?

If you don't have access to your account, you should take that up with Twitter. We can't get you your Twitter access back.

What happens after Twitter eventually shuts down?

At some point, perhaps in the distant future or maybe just a year from now, it's likely that Twitter will cease to exist. Perhaps they were bought out and the company that purchased them shut them down. Perhaps a better service came along and put them out of business. We will continually evolve the Afterlyfe service to add compatibility for future services, but if Twitter doesn't migrate your account to a new platform and discontinues the service, that would be the end of your ghost. Also, if Twitter shuts down API access, there would no longer be any way for use to post updates to your account.

What if I die before my first year as a member?

Our condolences. In this scenario, we may not have an entire year of your data available to send out, but we will send what we can.

How much does it cost?

Prices have not been announced. We will start with a free trial period and not collect any payment information. It will likely be a very, very low yearly payment. Cheaper than a burger. After your death, you no longer need to make any payments and the service will continue posting your old tweets free of charge.

If I decide I no longer want to use Afterlyfe, can my payments be refunded?

Only within the first 30 days after your first payment and assuming your account has not been activated due to your reported death. If you deactivate your account, we are unable to refund any unused portion of your payment.

What happens on leap years?

If you die within 365 days after a February 29th, the tweets from that day will only be sent out every four years. Otherwise, no posts will be made on February 29th.

What if I don't want to see tweets from a dead person?

Unfollow them, mute them, or block them. Problem solved.

Will you have an app?

We're not planning one. Not everything needs an app. Our web site is compatible with mobile devices.

This entire service is morbid, sick, and offensive! What kind of perverted person came up with this idea?

Blame Brian. He wants to haunt the Internet forever.

I refuse to use this site and think it's horrifying!

Nobody's making you. Also, that's not a question.

Will this service really continue forever?

That's the plan. We'll send out your tweets for eternity.*
* ...or, as we said earlier, "until Twitter stops working".

When will the site go live?

When it's ready.