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Legacy.com is the place where the world pauses to embrace the power of a life well-lived. We believe that a single life story can provide extraordinary inspiration, even after that person has died. So, we champion every life, knowing it can connect us in unexpected, powerful ways. An important part of our mission is to provide a kind and respectful space where friends and family can come together to remember and share messages. Guest Books allow mourners to help tell the story of the deceased and provide them with the opportunity to share messages of support to the deceased’s family and friends.  To keep each Guest Book a safe place for our partners and users, we screen every Guest Book message before it is posted to protect your families and your brand.

We’ve been moderating Guest Book messages since we received our first entry in February 2000. Stopher Bartol, President & CEO, valued Guest Book screening from the beginning. “In the early days of Legacy,” he said, “I did many jobs including screening entries. It was a challenging job, and I quickly realized it takes a uniquely qualified person to help people honor lives in this way. Our content screeners protect grieving families by acting partially as guardians, partially as detectives, and most of all as wise, empathetic friends.”

And we’re experts at what we do. In 2015, we hit a milestone when we screened our 100 millionth Guest Book entry. That number is only rising – last year alone, we screened over 12 million Guest Book entries, more than 1 million each month. Katie Falzone, Vice President of Operations, talks about the importance of Guest Book screening: “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. With Guest Book screening at the core of our service, we ensure the Guest Book is a safe place where families find comfort and support as they honor and remember loved ones.”

Not only does our Guest Book moderation protect the families we mutually serve, but it also protects your brand. Legacy partners with 1,500 newspapers around the world, from national news to community weeklies, and each paper gets the same exceptional level of award-winning service. We work around the clock to make sure that no offensive comment is ever posted. This service allows your team to focus their efforts on other projects, knowing that your online obituaries are in good hands.

Here are some examples of entries caught by our screeners in the last couple of months to ensure that Guest Books remain safe places for mourners to come together:

“I thought of you when the Cubbies won the World Series. There must have been quite the party in heaven with you and Sweets. Yesterday I participated in the Out of Darkness Walk in your honor hoping to raise awareness and let everyone know there is help. Miss you
(This entry was removed because suicide was neither listed in the obituary notice nor made public by the family).

“I know what the wife has done with her lover behind his back while he was on his death bed. RIP Robert.  Sidney Knows”         

“I hope you’re enjoying your new resting place down South.”

“Whomever decided to include Mark and his sister, and 2 of the supposed grandchildren, did not think for one second how it would make them feel. George never had anything to do with the grandchildren, and his only claim to fame with his stepchildren was that of making their life a living hell. There is no grieving for this monster. If it helps you all to say all these kind things about this horrible person, go for it, but leave our family out of it!”

“Wayne; Sorry to hear that you are gone. I hope that you will rest in peace. It is sad that you and your company screwed so many people, not a good legacy.”

These are just a few of the inappropriate comments that our Guest Book screeners flagged.

But, it’s not all negative. Most comments that we receive are touching condolences, memories, and stories of the deceased. Lynmarie D’Amore, Content Review Training Manager, talks about what Guest Book screening means to the families we serve: “We help ensure that our site is a safe and positive experience for all who visit. But more than just keeping the site pleasant for the general public, Guest Book screening allows us to directly serve the families that have created the obituaries. In many areas, we take special care to ensure the comments in the Guest Book do not contradict the information contained in the obit.  So I like to think of us as ‘the guardians’ of the online obit, upholding the good intentions of the family.”

Our Guest Book moderation team adds a human touch, to catch things that an automated filter would never find. Over the years, we have perfected our moderation methods to make for a quick and reliable screening process. Our team of highly skilled Guest Book screeners is made up of nearly 100 people.

Legacy.com’s best-in-class Guest Book moderation is one reason why 1,500 newspapers around the world turn to us to help manage their online obituaries. Our screeners receive 30 days of initial training to learn how to deal with the complicated and sensitive situations that come along with moderating obituary Guest Books, and are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure that comments are screened and posted in a timely manner. To read more about Legacy’s Guest Book screeners, as well as the other groups that make up our award-winning service and support team, visit sales.legacy.com/service-support.

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Claire McAlpin

Claire is a Marketing Associate at Legacy.com with experience in marketing strategy, experiential marketing, account management and sales.