Peaches Geldof: a family tragedy

Young mother Peaches Geldof has died leaving behind two small children, a husband and a legacy of joy and tragedy. The daughter of singer Bob Geldof and TV presenter Paula Yates  was found dead at home in what police described as “unexplained and sudden” circumstances, reported the BBC.

A family life shared

Just two days before her death she Tweeted a picture of herself as a child with her late mother who died of a heroin overdose when Peaches was only 11 years old. Her Twitter account has now been made private.

Peaches had been in the tabloids  right from the start of her life, with commentators discussing everything from her unusual name  to speculating about her private life.

By all accounts, however, she had devoted her time recently to her sons, Astala and Phaedra, who are aged almost two and almost one respectively. Her Instagram account was a celebration of family life with her boys, with her bio reading “Waging a never-ending war against dirty nappies…”*

There were pictures of the boys playing, eating, going for walks and doing typical little boy activities. Also on the page are some short video clips which reveal her absolute love for her kids.
While some parents are against putting pictures of their children on the internet, Peaches embraced the idea of sharing her family life on social media, and, despite her tragic death at the age of 25, her passion for snapping pics may one day bring some comfort to her boys provided that someone close to her has saved the images.

Instagrammers will miss seeing Peaches Geldof’s charming family snaps and her enthusiastic celebration of parenthood. Let’s hope her family preserves copies of those pictures in an online archive or elsewhere for her sons to enjoy.

*UPDATE: According to Metro, Instagram has shut down Peaches' account, apparently after being requested to do so by "close family".

Privacy and the loss of family memories

One problem with creating an online archive is that sites may close down or weed out dormant accounts. One couple had to beg Facebook for access to his son’s account after died, according to the Daily Mail. Eventually they were allowed limited access. Access to someone else’s account depends strictly on privacy laws- for example, one couple took Google to court in order to access their late son’s Gmail account. They were granted a court order allowing this.

Current Facebook policy is that once proof of death has been provided the deceased person’s account is turned into a memorial page. The account can also be deactivated upon the request of a direct relative. Also according to the Mail Online, there are allegedly 30 million Facebook profiles for people who have died.

Some avid social media users have even included information about account passwords in their wills to allow relatives or close friends to either close the accounts or update them with a death announcement status update.

Tip: If you use social media platforms to share treasured memories, consider saving them on hard drives or in other formats just in case the site concerned disappears. If you’re concerned about your accounts being comprised in the event of your death, you could leave important information such as account passwords for a loved one to access your account. This would ensure that pictures can be retrieved and also aid in preventing hackers from taking over an account.

Do you save your pictures anywhere other than in social media accounts?
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