What's it's like to moderate obituary comments

David Safran wasn't allowed to read the actual obituaries, because that would be a waste of his employer's time. All he did was moderate the comments queued for publication, most of it evidently spam and other forms of garbage.

An apt typo would break up the dark, sloppy tediousness of death work. (A recent favorite: "timbering" loved ones instead of "remembering" them.) Lately, with the freshly bereaved writing condolences on iPhones, sympathy notes are freighted more with autocorrect than grief. For example: "No words to describe this terrible trade gym." Or: "During this difficult time, hang onto all the find meteorites."

When I mention this job to others, I'm immediately asked to reveal the most offensive sympathy note I've read. Here's one that's safe to print in a family publication: "I know it's last minute, but are you available to come cut the grass at the house today? Mainly the front please". (And another gem: "Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp".)

A fascinating microcosm of the internet, slowly dissolving everything.