Why does Legacy.com screen content?

Over the course of our first decade in business, Legacy.com has received and screened more than 40 million Guest Book entries. We’re regularly asked why we bother screening entries prior to posting them online. Do people really say inappropriate and negative things? Can’t the family screen them?

While most entries Legacy.com deletes are not intentionally inappropriate (copyright infringement is the most common reason we delete an entry), people do sometimes use the Guest Book to air dirty laundry or take one last shot at the deceased. Here are some real-life entries Legacy.com has received and deleted:

  1. Dear Family, Imagine the shock to read the obits to find your mother had died! If you intent was to inflict more pain in me with this action, it did not work! I made my peace long ago. Gee, 6 siblings & not 1 could dial a toll free number. Not like it cost you anything. You call yourselves Christians? Regards, Bob
  2. While reading this obituary, and knowing important details about the entire family (including the daughter that was so disgustingly left out of the obituary – I am sure it was on purpose just to be hurtful), it is a terrible shame that anger can go beyond death. You should be ashamed.
  3. what can be said, I guess not to much…He will not be missed
  4. Nobody spoke on his troubled life as a youth and how many times he had been locked up and the many youths he abused physically and mentally. God knows when your time is up and Karma never goes away
  5. Ding Dong the Witch is dead….

Legacy.com’s goal in screening entries is to prevent the family and loved ones of the deceased from reading anything that could upset them further in an already difficult time. And this is the main reason we do not send entries to family members for review. If you had just lost a loved one, reading any of the above entries would be devastating.

Some companies use profanity filters to prevent inappropriate content from appearing online. While such filters are certainly useful, they wouldn’t catch any of the above entries.

Bottom line – Legacy.com reviews entries because we believe it’s the right thing to do, and because we want our site to be a source of encouragement and uplift rather than a source of further pain.

About Katie

I joined Legacy.com in 2002 as a part-time content screener and now serve as Director of Operations, overseeing Legacy’s day-to-day operations (Guest Book screening, obituary processing, customer service, and client service). I grew up in California, the daughter of a psychologist and a minister. My parents instilled in me the importance of listening to and caring about others. One of the things I appreciate most about working at Legacy.com is that I am able to have a small part in easing people's pain during one of the most difficult times in their lives. In my life outside of Legacy, I enjoy baking treats (and bringing them to the office to share), playing the piano, reading, taking pictures, tending to our vegetable & herb gardens, trying out new restaurants and foods, spending time with my husband, Chuck (whom I met at Legacy) and our kids, Brett Jr. & Josie.
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