in the Machines
What Happens to Your Online Self When You Die?
By Ryan Boddy
More than a year after his death, Aaron Huth continues to haunt those who knew him.
His profile on the behemoth six-degrees-of-separation Web site Friendster.com still
lets people know that in May of 2003 he was listening to bands like the Birthday
Party and the Postal Service and reading Nietzsche. His likes and interests were
frozen for posterity on May 26, 2003, the last time he logged into the site. While
Huth’s 12 listed Friendster friends haven’t heard from him since May 29, the day
he passed away, each time they log on to the site they are simultaneously reminded
of his life and his death. They are greeted by pictures of the Harford County native
playing guitar and sporting the dark, wild, curly hair that accompanied his outgoing