“I didn't know her, but…”: parasocial mourning of mediated deaths on Facebook RIP pages

Lisbeth Klastrup

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article examines the use of six Danish “Rest in Peace” or (RIP) memorial pages. The article focuses on the relation between news media and RIP page use, in relation to general communicative practices on these pages. Based on an analysis of press coverage of the deaths of six young people and a close analysis of 1,015 comments extracted from the RIP pages created to memorialize them, it is shown that their deaths attracted considerable media attention, as did the RIP pages themselves. Comment activity seem to reflect the news stories in the way the commenters refer to the context of death and the emotional distress they experience, but mainly comments on the RIP pages are conventional expressions of sympathy and “RIP” wishes. The article concludes that public RIP pages might be understood as virtual spontaneous shrines, affording an emerging practice of “RIP-ing.”
Original languageEnglish
Article number1 (1-2)
JournalNew Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)146-164
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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