This question is not standard. I asked myself whtis the right attitude toward users who disappeared from the website.

When a friend leaves the Bet Hamidrash or the shul, it is good use to phone to him or to ask about his health.

Virtual communities work differently, every member is not really linked or reachable, this is the rule. A special freedom, sheltered from indiscretions. Website habits are not generated by Jewish criteria. May be that as Judaism centered website, and perhaps mi yodeia needs special rules. E. g. if someone disappeared, perhaps is he ill?... chas veshsalom, or needs he help? I don't know.

On the other hand, may be that the virtual community is out of the real world and, every one is linked only to his real environment.

I am wondering if there are rules in Mi Yodeia concerning the well being of disappeared users. What do you think?

  • 2
    related (possible dupe?) meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/894/759
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 19:13
  • 2
    @DoubleAA I wanted to point an other tsad, not from the improvement of the site concern, but from the fraternity point of view
    – kouty
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 19:37
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    @DoubleAA, I agree that this is not a dupe, since the motivation is very different, what it's asking for is somewhat different, and ways it could and should be addressed may be quite different.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Commented Dec 26, 2016 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


The vast majority of the time, when someone drops out of a community like this one, either permanently or temporarily, it is not due to any sort of severe real-life troubles. All more likely are:

  • Changing habits of online behavior

  • Other interests taking more time and attention

  • On-site difficulties

  • Changes in real-life time pressures

Given that, it seems to me that a prolonged absence, by itself, does not suggest a severe problem with anything like the probability that would be required to morally justify breaching a user's privacy, e.g. via the moderators' looking up private information.

Therefore, I would say that if a user's identity is neither known in public on Mi Yodeya, nor known publicly to be known privately by other users, absence should not result in people here digging up the user's identity to investigate.

On the flip side, if a user's identity is known (or known to be known), then it might be worthwhile for another user who legitimately knows the identity to reach out off-line and make sure that all's well for the missing user on Mi Yodeya and off. That's probably best judged on a case-by-case basis by whoever it is that has the personal connection.

  • very wise answer. Thanks.
    – kouty
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 6:51

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