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The unsettling scourge of obituary spam

The Verge: “…“Obituary scraping” is a common practice that affects not just celebrities and public figures, but also average, private individuals. Funeral homes have been dealing with obituary aggregator sites for at least 15 years, says Courtney Gould Miller, chief strategy officer at MKJ Marketing, which specializes in marketing funeral services. The sites trawl news articles and local funeral home websites, looking for initial death announcements that have basic details like name, age, and where a service might be held. They then scrape and republish the content at scale, using templated formats or, increasingly, AI tools. is the biggest, most established version of aggregators — but countless smaller, sketchier websites pop up continuously. Some of these sites contain inaccurate information, like the date or location of a memorial service. Others collect orders for flowers or gifts that don’t arrive in time, frustrating family and friends and causing headaches for local funeral homes, Gould Miller says. Aggregation sites regularly outrank the actual funeral homes that have a relationship with grieving families…”

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