Though Stan Lee, the legendary comic book writer who created some of Marvel’s most iconic characters, passed away last November, his personal Twitter account is still very active. Using the handle ‘@TheRealStanLee’, the account, which has almost four million followers, has tweeted over 60 times since Stan Lee’s passing.
The pinned tweet on the account says, “The outpouring of love for Stan online has been extraordinary. As a thank you, we have a video of Stan to share in the below link, along with our promise to continue celebrating Stan’s work & memory on his social media accounts for fans to enjoy.” The majority of the tweets made since then have held true to this promise, with most posts memorializing Stan Lee’s works and sharing historical tidbits about his life.
On March 6th, however, the account posted a promotion for the then-upcoming Captain Marvel movie. The tweet had thousands of replies within the day, many from fans who were outraged by Stan Lee’s personal account being used as a promotional vehicle rather than a memorial. Though fans are laying the blame for the tweet on POW! Entertainment, Marvel, and even Disney, it’s unclear who exactly runs the account now that Stan Lee has passed.
In response to the promotion of Captain Marvel one fan posted, “Dear @TheRealStanLee’s Twitter manager, By all means, please share moments from Stan’s life. Please tweet about his triumphs and tribulations. Please keep his memory alive. All other kinda tweets? Tweets like the one I’m replying to? No thanks.” Others called the promotional posts “disrespectful,” “in incredibly bad taste” and even “absolutely disgusting.” Some are asking for the account to be renamed so that it’s more clear that the account is a memorial, while others are asking for the entire account to stop posting anything at all.
Stan Lee isn’t the first famous person’s whose account has been used for advertising after his death. Facebook and Instagram have policies that ‘memorialise’ people’s pages after they die, and Google has settings that allow you to release your information to family after you pass. Twitter’s policy only allows for the removal, not memorialization, of the accounts of the deceased.