Categories: WikiTree Help | Leader Help

As a free website, almost everything on WikiTree is done by volunteers. There are tens of thousands of active volunteers. A small group of WikiTree Leaders are at the heart of the volunteer community. Leaders (formerly known as Supervisors) have special powers and responsibilities.


Leading the Community wikitree_leader.gif

Member guidance

In addition to the normal communication channels, Leaders have the ability to create and edit WikiTree Help Pages.

Referring and blocking

Leaders can refer members who need special assistance or oversight. They can block vandals and spammers.

Moderating G2G

Leaders have moderator powers in G2G. They can improve badly-worded questions, recategorize questions, edit mistakes in answers and comments, close questions, hide inappropriate questions, and delete extremely inappropriate questions after they've been hidden.

Problem resolution and escalation

Leaders have a role in dispute resolution. If two members cannot resolve a disagreement, we invite them to contact a Leader. If the Leader doesn't know the answer, they escalate it to a team member.

Similarly, Leaders help identify technical problems and policies that need to be clarified or refined. If a problem comes up and they don't know the answer, they make sure the question is raised in G2G or brought to the attention of a team member.

Leading Special Projects

Projects are WikiTree sub-communities centered around a particular goal, interest, ability, or need. All Leaders are involved in at least one special project.

This does not mean that projects can only have one Leader involved in them. On the contrary. Most Leaders are involved in multiple projects and most projects have multiple Leaders involved in them.

Leaders involved in the same project divide up the responsibilities outlined on the Project Leadership page. See Projects for a list of current projects along with their current leaders, or see Leadership Roles for a list of Leaders and their current projects.

Designating PPPs

Leaders can add and remove Project-Protected Profile status.

Merging Open profiles

To facilitate merges for PPPs, Leaders can adopt any Open profile that's a duplicate or belongs in a project, without the normal process of Trusted List requests or merge proposals.

Project Member badges

Leaders have the power to add and remove project badges for members.

Shaping the Future of WikiTree

WikiTree is always changing and improving. It's not just the content of the tree that's improving. The community policies and the underlying technology are constantly being improved-upon.

Leaders are the primary voice of the community in the development process. They help propose and discuss changes. They are often involved in testing and experimentation, and sometimes initiate changes themselves.

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1/1,000 limitation

The number of WikiTree Leaders is limited. There can only be one Leader for every 1,000 registered members.

Many great WikiTree contributors never become WikiTree Leaders.

Super Stars

Any Leader can award a Super Star to any member in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community.

Members with Supers Stars are the pool from which prospective Leaders are nominated.


Before being nominated, a Wiki Genealogist must:

1.) Have received a Super Star for outstanding contributions. Leaders go beyond their own family tree. They are generally long-time genealogists who have completed a substantial amount of their own genealogy and have moved on to helping others.
2.) Be active for at least two months. This is the bare minimum. Usually much longer.
3.) Actively participate in at least one project.
4.) Be an outstanding practitioner of Honor Code point III (assuming that mistakes are unintentional) and point IV (being courteous to everyone, even those who don't act accordingly).

Requirement #4 is a high bar. It is unusual for a member to be so patient that they can always rise above the frustrations of collaboration and consistently be the bigger person in misunderstandings. It's these rare individuals that we want wearing the Leader badge.

Leaders need to be able to show respect for all members of the WikiTree community.

Nomination process

New Leaders are nominated by current Leaders in the private e-mail list.

Before nominating someone, the Leader should confirm the requirements above, including a careful review of the members' communications for requirement #4. This is only possible if the member has a long public record of written communications (comments on profiles, G2G messages, etc.) in actively collaborative situations. There must be no recent examples of messages that could be misinterpreted as unfriendly or pushy.

Any other Leader can veto the nomination. An explanation of the veto should be sent privately to Lianne or another team member, not the entire Leader group. Lianne will inform the group of the veto but will not include details if it's considered sensitive. Because of the sensitive nature of this process, nominees *should not* be notified by they have been nominated-this should be done by Team members only.

Allowing any single Leader to veto a nomination may seem extreme, but Leaders are a remarkably friendly and inclusive group. We all want more Leaders to join us.

Vetoes are often because a Leader is aware of a private e-mail from the member that's troubling for requirement #4. Objections based on this requirement can be temporary; this is why they are kept private. As time passes, the member may have such a large volume of positive interactions that one or two negative ones from the past are outweighed.

If there is no veto within 48 hours of the nomination, Lianne will invite the member to view this page and consider whether they will accept. Their decision is then announced to the group by Lianne.

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Leaders can resign their status at any time. Being a Leader doesn't have to be a huge time commitment, but it does require spending some time on WikiTree regularly. This is not always possible. As one member put it, "sometimes life requires your full attention."

If the time away from WikiTree may be temporary, see the Leader Emeritus section below.


Termination may be necessary if a Leader violates general WikiTree policies or specific Leader responsibilities.

Leader Emeritus status

Leaders that step down under good terms are given the Leader Emeritus status. This is a way to recognize and honor their past leadership.

It's also for Leaders who need to step away from WikiTree temporarily. At any time, a Leader Emeritus can ask to be an active Leader again. If we are over the current limit for number of Leaders, they will be first in line when a spot opens.

This page was last modified 19:19, 9 April 2014. This page has been accessed 675 times.