Posted by Kim on May 13, 2020, 9:00amNOTE: This has been a somewhat needed feature for some time, and planned for a long time as well. I built it before the pandemic started, and wrote the initial article about it then too. It was scheduled in the list of all the other feature spotlights to go out today, after Epic Week. But since the pandemic began, I've been waffling about whether to push it out -- it just feels so strange to be talking about death right now. But also very strange not to talk about it! So I just want to acknowledge up top before going in to this that there's probably no great time to talk about this subject that won't feel very heavy to some in the audience. But, deep breath, holds hands, we'll get through this mildly weird announcement together
Of all the things I thought I would need to think about when starting a website for RP gaming, I did not think that how to handle a death would be one of them. Yet over the years, the community has lost some very dear friends. How to memorialize them has always been an open question.
So far, we've had an informal policy of
- Not deleting the profile (unless contacted by a verified family member who requests it)
- Not editing the profile in any way
- Allowing kudos that may not meet the normal kudos guideline to be left on the user without the mods intervening, as a form of memorializing the user
But those friends who are grieving a user have often wondered if anything more could be done to protect the profiles, or to place a notice that would let others who knew them find out about their death.
So, now we finally have a way of marking a profile as "In Memoriam." Doing so:
- Prevents anyone from logging in to the account again
- Protects the account from being deleted by automated Server clean-ups
- Places a small note on the profile that the user is deceased, and the profile is being kept as a memorial
- Allows many more kudos to appear directly on the profile at a time, and stops those kudos from showing up in random order (on the theory that older kudos may be encouraging people to RP with the person, while the more recent kudos are tributes meant for family and friends to see)
- In the moderation review queue, submitted kudos are shown with a message to mods about the relaxed kudos guidelines to try and prevent mix-ups.
We're also changing our guidelines somewhat on what we'll accept as proof of a user's death. Instead of only accepting a copy of a death certificate, a combination of an online obituary and some other proof such as a link to a news article about the deceased may also be accepted.
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