No one will deny that 2020 has been a rollercoaster, but one fun thing Cockburn discovered this year is that you can now live forever via your social media accounts.
Facebook has long given family members the option to turn their deceased loved one’s page into a memorial, but something far more bizarre is happening on Twitter. Family members and staffers grab the keys to the account and fire off tweet after tweet under the late user’s name with little indication of who is the one resurrecting the dead. Charlie Daniels’s account, for example, lived on by posting quotes from the late country music singer and links to charity for veterans and police officers. None was more cloying, however, than Herman Cain’s account downplaying the severity of the virus that killed him.
It was almost too good to be true for lovers of internet drama. While most memorial-style accounts shift into inoffensive content, Cain’s remained just as aggressively political as it was prior to his death. The two-time Republican presidential candidate, passed away last month from COVID-19. Even though he was 74 and had previously defeated colon cancer, Cain was unscrupulously traveling around the country and even attended President Trump’s infamous Tulsa rally prior to contracting the virus. He was dead within a month. Still, Cain’s account tweeted Monday: ‘It looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be.’ The tweet was accompanied by an article noting that the CDC acknowledged that 94 percent of coronavirus deaths involved underlying conditions.
Herman Cain’s Twitter account tweeted Sunday that the coronavirus “isn’t as deadly” as once thought.
Cain died in July after being hospitalized for more than a month with COVID-19.
— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) August 31, 2020
The statistic is true, but it doesn’t make it any less weird for Cain’s surviving family and friends to point it out as some kind of victory considering their family member is still dead. Other Twitter users quickly jumped on the tweet, repeatedly reminding them that Cain did, in fact, die from the virus. Soon after, the tweet was deleted. The lapse in judgment raises an important question: are Cain’s team members really doing what they think will best honor his memory, or are they merely taking advantage of his half a million Twitter followers?
According to his daughter, the individuals behind the new posts wanted to ‘carry on his legacy.’ Apparently this includes tarnishing his memory by making a joke out of the manner in which he died.
In this new digital age, it will only become more common for individuals with an outsized social media presence to pass away and leave family members wondering what to do with the remaining platform. Cockburn wouldn’t mind a few jokes being made in his memory, so long as his wife doesn’t stumble across his burner account.