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 January 15

by Carolina

Admittedly, I was a little spooked when I read author Jackie Collins’ happy new year tweet, especially given she’s been dead for over six years.

And maybe it was a little morbid of me to keep following her on the social media platform after she died, but there is something oddly reassuring about seeing her tweets, and I did feel a little warm and fuzzy when she wished her 165,000 followers a “Merry Christmas” from the other side.

Jackie Collins may be gone from this world but her Twitter feed is alive and well.

Jackie Collins may be gone from this world but her Twitter feed is alive and well.Credit:Original photo: Reuters

Jackie Collins is in good company when it comes to the posthumous social media lives of our dearly departed celebrities – I also follow Elizabeth Taylor, Prince and Michael Jackson on various platforms.

Indeed, it is one of the more perverse byproducts of social media and modern-day celebrity that even after death they can continue to enjoy a life – albeit a virtual one – in the digital realm.

The actor Paul Walker died in a car accident back in 2013 but his Twitter account is one of the platform’s most popular, though the user profile does seem a little macabre given it’s for a dead man: “Outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie… and I do some acting on the side”.

Like most of the accounts for dead celebrities, it is run by his estate, and the tweets are signed off with Team PW, but still, it does seem a little creepy.

Michael Jackson’s Twitter account is still constantly updating its 2.3 million followers, even making grisly boasts about just how popular the King Of Pop remains 12 years after he died.

Last week the account tweeted: “What new records will Michael Jackson set in 2022? The King of Pop recently became the solo artist with the longest run on the UK album charts with his compilation “Number Ones”; now on the charts for over 523 weeks; that’s over 10 years!”

Amy Winehouse died in 2011, but her Twitter account still carries the “verified” blue tick and shares her music on a daily basis.

Tweeting from the grave: Joan Rivers died aged 81.

Tweeting from the grave: Joan Rivers died aged 81.Credit:Getty

Joan Rivers, who died in 2014, is apparently still cracking jokes, via Twitter, in between sharing patriotic 4th of July posts and “Throw Back Thursday” memories, which appear to be curated by her daughter Melissa.

While Facebook has a “memoriam” setting for the departed, there is nothing for Twitter accounts of the dead declaring as much. It appears entirely up to the account operator if they so choose to make it known the celebrity tweeter is alive.

While Twitter allows a dead person’s estate to deactivate an account, it doesn’t require an account to be suspended once someone has died – famous or otherwise.

Elvis Presley died in 1977, but he managed – or at least his estate did – to join Twitter in 2008.

Thirteen years after joining Twitter, 2022 could be one of his biggest years yet on social media with the upcoming release of the Baz Luhrmann-directed biopic later this year, and Team Elvis has wasted no time on maximising the potential renewed popularity.

This past Christmas over on Elvis’s Instagram account, followers could “experience” something called the “Elvis Yule Log”, billed as an “immersive, 360 degree digital experience”. Essentially, it was a live stream of his fireplace burning in the living room at Gracelands as some of Elvis’ Christmas classics played as the flames roared.

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Elvis’s Yule Log is still burning on Youtube well after Christmas, and had clocked up 168,000 views when I last looked a few days ago.

In the months before he died in 2016, an official David Bowie account popped up on Instagram, but without much fanfare and posting mostly nostalgic anniversaries of previous musical releases.

The account took on an entirely new life after Bowie’s death, and today boasts 1.9million followers lapping up its updates five years after he died.

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The popularity of Bowie’s Instagram account is a good measure of just how relevant his music remains.

Indeed, Bowie’s posthumous social media “footprint” from beyond the grave would have played a pivotal role in negotiations recently over the sale of his back catalogue of music to Warner Music for a staggering $344 million.

And so, it would appear that in 2022 death is no longer an obstacle when it comes to celebrity adoration, and just like so much of modern celebritydom, we can thank social media for it.

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Original posted at www.smh.com.au

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