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Anthony Walker / U.S. Army Photo

Posting photos on Facebook for our friends and colleagues might not be a waste of time, as a new study shows our social networks appear to stay intact even after we die.

Why it matters: The study is the first-ever large-scale effort to look at the resilience of a person's social network — online or off — after his or her death. The researchers found increased interactions after someone died of cancer or an accident and less frequent communication after suicide or other causes that have stigma attached to them.

Our thought bubble: How does posting about or tagging someone in a photo translate into support? Can our online relationships be relied on in real life — and does that even matter?

Methodology: Researchers looked at 15,000 anonymized Facebook networks involving 770,000 people to see how resilient human social structures were after the person at the center of them died. They found friends of the deceased not only stayed engaged, they actually increased their ties to each other afterwards, often for years. Close friends interacted 30% more than usual in the month after a mutual friend's death. Their contact waned after that month but even 2 years later they were interacting about 3% more when compared to networks of friends who hadn't suffered a loss.

Interesting detail: 18-24 year olds increased their social network interactions most after a death of a mutual friend or colleague.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.