This Website Will Self Destruct If You Stop Posting

Luckily, there's little we can do right now but post our way through it.
April 21, 2020, 12:53pm
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One way we can get through this is just to keep posting, no matter what.

That's my interpretation of the new, high concept website thiswebsitewillselfdestruct.com. The premise is simple: the site presents a simple interface you can use to leave a message, or read a random message left by another visitor, which you can "heart." If nobody posts to the site in 24 hours, it will permanently self-destruct, and everything will be wiped from its database.

As one message on the site put it succinctly:

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Thiswebsitewillselfdestruct.com was made for the Ludum Dare 46 game jam by FemmeAndroid, who also produces a comic about a trans woman in a science fiction setting that's supported with a Patreon.

"If it's been more than 24 hours, rather than display the page, [the site] will just start deleting all the messages," FemmeAndroid said. "For a while, depending on the size of the database, the website will just seem unresponsive. And once all the messages have been deleted, the site will just raise an error and just show an error message. It will really be deleted."

According to FemmeAndroid, the site received over 15,000 messages this past weekend, with more coming in every minute. People have looked at messages over a million times. On average, each message has been seen 91 times.

Clicking through myself, I was surprised to see mostly positive, funny, or emotionally revealing messages.

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I've also seen a few very sad messages. Not in a bad way, but just people being honest about what a difficult time they're having right now. For this reason, if you click the "Feeling Down?" button, thiswebsitewillselfdestruct.com will present contact information for organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness HelpLine.

"I had to add the 'Feeling Down?' button last night after seeing too many suicidal posts," FemmeAndroid said. "But on the whole it's been encouraging. There are so many people with so many cares, hopes, and desires in the world. There are so many people trying to do good, and trying to do better. There's something beautiful about that."

The theme for Ludum Dare 46 was "Keep it Alive," and people participating only have a short time to build something that fits that theme shortly after it's revealed.

"At first I was thinking I could make a gameshow style game out of it, but I realized I wanted something very comforting," FemmeAndroid. "People are stuck at home at the moment, and it seemed like maybe some people could use some encouragement to get their feelings out. So I figured, why not encourage that?"