When an account is disabled, all the profile information disappears. Might it be better to preserve the information when the account is disabled due to the owner's death?
Under most circumstances, it makes sense to delete the profile information when an account is disabled. For example, it's appropriate when someone wants to leave MetaFilter of their own volition and doesn't want to leave any trace. It's also appropriate when a spammer or scammer shows up and gets the banhammer, and we want to flush them down the memory hole.
This morning, though, seized by a fit of 10th-anniversary nostalgia, I was browsing through the wiki
and found the page of deceased MeFites
. There are good people listed there, people who were appreciated for their contributions to the community: Radio7
, just to name a few. But if you visit their profile pages, hardly anything remains except for their post histories and a blunt "This account is disabled," indistinguishable from the page of a banned self-linker.
Even if it's too late to restore the profiles of those who have already passed on, perhaps, in the future, when we lose a good MeFite, his or her profile could remain as a memorial? Maybe a note could even be added to indicate the date on which MetaFilter learned of the death. It would be respectful and appropriate, I think. I know it's what I would want.