Online hauntings are on the rise as the data of the dead accumulate online. Social media are just the start, and even Google Earth is full of ghosts. How do we live with the socially active dead?
The internet is increasingly full of dead people. It’s also become one of the main ways in which we encounter death and mourn those we’ve lost. From Facebook messages to people who have died to AI-driven chatbots mimicking the dead, the internet is changing and challenging how we remember those we’ve lost – and even where we draw the line between death and survival.
What should we make of these new phenomena? Do we owe duties of privacy or preservation to those who have died? How are we to live with the digital dead – and how should we prepare for our own electronic afterlives?
Join psychologist Dr Elaine Kasket (author of All the Ghosts in the Machine: The Digital Afterlife of Your Personal Data) and philosopher Patrick Stokes (author of Digital Souls: A Philosophy of Online Immortality, forthcoming) as they discuss the ethical and practical challenges posed by dying in the online era. The event is hosted by David Rutledge, presenter of ‘The Philosopher’s Zone’ on ABC Radio National (Australia), and will be recorded for broadcast.