Is there a way to determine if a contributor to FamilySearch is still breathing? Is there a way to color-code an individual in "Changes" who is not? Either no response via email or Messaging is not very satisfying. And looking in obituaries is rapidly becoming subscriber-only.
@RobertLeighPritchett, for non-LDS accounts (which we are told are the majority), FS has no means of knowing whether the person is inactive due to death or inactive due to other causes (such as loss of the email connected to their account, or loss of interest, or dementia).
Which would indicate by your response that in the case of LDS accounts, "you" would know. How can we politely ask if an LDS account has been closed (by death notification)?
Back when Dad passed, it took about 3 months for the sytem to close his account, but when Mom passed it was almost immediate (because I notified them). Both Mom and Dad were heavy FamilySearch contributors.
As a FamilySearch Helper I have had a few folks drop off due to life-issues and their spouses have contacted me - later. Of course when a profile becomes "visible", we have a pretty good idea the individual has passed on, assuming the sources are correct. But for contact purposes, it would save a lot of time if there was a color-code on contributors who are no longer breathing. I suppose this would be considered a "Suggested Idea".
@RobertLeighPritchett, I'm part of that non-LDS majority.
Because of the impossibility of knowing whether the owner of a public account is living or not, I'm not sure that any sort of indicator would necessarily be a good idea on LDS contributors who have died: it'd be a clear indicator of their religion, for one thing, and that's generally considered private information, nowadays. Granted, the deceased have no right to (or need for) privacy, but their surviving family members do.
Having spent my life in IT, I happen to know nothing is impossible given enough vision, time and resources. So as "private" information is the main reaon why we don't know if a FamilySearch Contributor is still breathing or not, I guess we should throw out such beta functions as Chat or FamilyGroups where live profiles will be shared. Frankly I do not mind if an individual is a member of the organization that hosts FamilySearch or not. Just be aware that sacred funds from tithes and offerings pay for its operation - and it is designed to last through the millennium. It is a privilege to have an account, not a right. If an account is shut down due to death of an individual, there ought to be a way to let the world know of their status so we are not wasting precious and effort attempting to make contact with them. The question many ask is simply - are they still alive? A simple yes or no would suffice. if indeed they are no longer living, then FamilySearch needs to show an indicator of such - like their profile is made public with the death date. If they are still alive, then they need to respond via email, phone call, post or Message to inquiries of interested parties in a timely manner. If their account has been blocked due to breaking the rules, there needs to be an indicator that they have been blocked or their account is no longer in service with the usual note that for further information call... etc.
Or we can wait until the Contact function in RootsTech is made live year-round and not for a little while (gratefully extended a full month in 2023) after the live version is over, so we can actually connect with them in real time.
By saying: "....nothing is impossible given enough vision, time and resources", you are partly acknowledging the problem: FamilySearch just does not have the resources to deal with a matter like this. Family Tree is said to be used by millions of users, throughout the globe, so how could one possibly expect they could monitor every user (particularly the half who are not Church members) to see if they have suddenly died?
Take my own example alone. I live in England, so any death registration (following my demise) will take longer than a year to appear on the GRO website. So, unless I instruct my next of kin to kindly let FamilySearch know the minute I'm gone, how easy is it going be for them to pick up on my death?
Further, you state: "If they are still alive, then they need to respond via email, phone call, post or Message to inquiries of interested parties in a timely manner." Perhaps in an "ideal world" where everyone is willing to be cooperative for the sake of others, but surely you don't expect that from even a (sizeable) minority of FamilySearch registered users?
I'm afraid it's just wishful thinking to expect to know the reasons (no longer with us, or otherwise) why many messages to our fellow Family Tree participants go completely unacknowledged. If we do get the courtesy of a response, so well and good - otherwise, we have to move on and look for an alternative source to address our queries.
If you have relatives "who just do not want to be found", logically, they will not be opening an account in FamilySearch to begin with because that is what FamilySearch is all about. Finding, communicating and coming closer together. I want to know if someone who has been actively contributing in FamilySearch and suddenly stops as to why. Are they hurt? Need Help or no longer breathing. It is not that hard for the "resources of FamilySearch" to find out. The NSA knows. Google knows. FaceBook might know. Other living relatives know. Heck, Siri knows!
And once again, the beta version of Messaging has Chat. FamilyGroups are being formed and soon "live" profiles will become visible to those who accepted the pending rules and wish to abide by them. FamilySearch does not have the resources? You bet they do.