At the time of this post's creation, the leading answer for the meta discussion Should meta posts regarding the deaths of figures that are important to SFF:SE be on topic? is that these should be allowed (18 votes vs. 9 for the opposite view). That answer was based on the high number of upvotes—and relatively low proportion of downvotes—for recent such posts. But how do we judge whether someone is an important figure to science fiction and fantasy deserving of a meta post? For this discussion, let's just focus on celebrities and not users on this site (that would be better as a separate meta discussion).
I think that we ought to figure this out long before someone tries to create a meta topic for someone who is "not an important figure", given that an In Memoriam post is not a great place to have an internet argument or downvote the thing to oblivion (that would make the community seem insensitive to their death).
To give a few concrete examples:
- Leonard Nimoy was given a meta post, with the question and every answer focusing on his role of Spock on Star Trek. Will we give similar meta posts (hopefully many years from now) to his surviving costars William Shatner, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig too? Could we have made a meta post for other sci-fi/fantasy actors who have recently passed away like Ron Glass, Richard Lynch, Anne Francis, or Gareth Thomas? Will Reb Brown someday get one too?
- Terry Pratchett's meta post focused on him writing Discworld. Could we have made a meta post for other sci-fi/fantasy writers who recently passed away like Ray Bradbury, Tanith Lee, Harry Harrison, George Clayton Johnson, or Sara Douglass? Will Stephenie Meyer someday get one too?
If any of these answers are no, then why is that? What sort of litmus test could we develop to determine if someone is an important enough figure to get a recent death meta post?