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

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.