Unresponsive PM:Start asking profile managers are you still a WikiTree citizen

+32 votes

As the db_error project start us too look at other parts of the WikiTree family tree. We run into profiles with some errors that can't be fixed if you are not a profile manager


109 Profile should be open (birth date) 18208   221 179 3086 14722      
110 Profile should be open (death date) 1515 639 4 60 141 424 245 2
107 Full name in UPPERCASE 2845 1808   25 49 353 593 17  
108 Full name in lowercase 3112 2842 1   6 39 217 7



  1. If you have not been active on WikiTree the last 2 years
  2. If you have more than 40 profiles
  3. Send out a pull and ask do you want still to manage your WikiTree profiles active ==> then go to a page and check mark YES
    1. If no feedback is got in 3 months and 4 more sent email, WikiTree profiles marked unresponsive PM ....?!?!?!

      ==> Then take away the person as profile manager for profiles with the above errors or some other criteria
in Policy and Style by Living Sälgö G2G6 Pilot (304k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry

See also:

  • Unresponsive_Profile_Managers
  • Template:Absent
    • Maybe also could be used to signal that this error is managed by a profile manager absent to xxx
    • Template right now used on the following profiles
  • Looks like no major problem changing PM in bulk see G2G
  • A reality check if a "match" is a match on old profiles 1560 in Norway ==> gives a hint that not everyone is following the WikiTree Honour code we cite source
    • I found nearly no sources
    • 5900+ profiles uploaded
    • no norwegian sources at all... is this genealogy? today we can warn other and mark them Unsourced

      ==> I guess those profiles will never have some genealogy quality and will forever be in the unsourced/untrusted backyard of WikiTree
I agree there should be a way to determine if a profile manager is still active with WikiTree.  The procedure you outline above seems fair.

While doing "Sourcerer" work, I get my name on new profiles which I do not need to manage, but have created from information found while improving unsourced profiles.  Maybe there is a need to recruit "Sourcerers" among the Norway genealogists.   -NGP
Nanette, you can see how active any wikitree member is by clicking on their name to access their profile, then clicking on "contributions".

Magnus, I have, from time to time, suggested that if the person is no longer able to or interested in managing their profiles that they orphan them so others might adopt them.
An aside: The Absent template is generally used by active WikiTreers who are away for a few days, and they want to let people know that they'll be back.

Most of the people on that list are either Team members or Leaders, btw. :-)
Julie, we're not talking about people absent for a few days or even weeks or months. But years.
Jillaine -- Yes ... I was just making sure that the use of the {{absent}} template was clear. :-) (Wow -- that was 4 months ago ... had to go back and figure out what we were talking about!! ha!)

For what it's worth, I do like Magnus's idea! It's always frustrating to get to a series of profiles that are set to Green privacy for no good reason, are < 200 years old, and the profile manager hasn't been around for 3 or 4 years.
When I peruse g2g from my cell phone, I don't always catch that I'm responding to an old thread. It popped up as new because someone wrote a new answer...

4 Answers

+14 votes
Great suggestion regarding inactive managers but it appears like a lot of work.  Can't Wikitree do something more automatic?

I get an email from netzero regarding my inactive email account asking me to use it or lose it!

I have found many managers who downloaded gedcoms 2 or 3 years ago and have done nothing to them.
by Jim Vondrak G2G6 Mach 1 (11.2k points)
My thought was an automatic process....
+10 votes

WikiTree has the Unresponsive Profile Manager protocol to deal with situations like these.

Because WikiTree aims to be so much more polite than the rest of the Internet, unresponsive profile managers are not summarily removed. Instead they are given multiple opportunities to step up and take responsibility for the profiles they supposedly manage:

  • Another contributor submits a Trusted List request.
  • After waiting for a suitable period to allow the Profile Manager to respond, the contributor posts a profile message and sends a private message to the Profile Manager (it's more polite to do first one, then do the other several days later).
  • After at least 7 days without a response, the contributor submits an Unresponsive Profile Manager request.
  • Paul, the tireless volunteer who handles the Unresponsive Profile Manager process, sends an email to the Profile Manager's registered email address. If he gets a return message indicating that the account is closed, I think he may proceed to instantly "orphan" the profiles. Normally, though, he gives the Profile Manager at least a week to make a positive response. In the absence of a response, he releases the affected profiles for adoption.

The process can be frustratingly slow, but I'm sure it avoids alienating people and creating hurt feelings.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
edited by Ellen Smith

Thanks Ellen for a clarifying answer but I feel it's some unbalance between the speed of the correction process and the process of uploading an unsourced Gedcom file....

Uploading takes 10 minutes. Fixing the errors in worst case 30 minutes per profile... ==> 500 uploaded profiles with problems ==> 500*30 minutes 250 hours to fix ===> 250 hour /10 minutes = 1500 times  and then if we add waiting a week and do the above 4 steps... I assume 99% of the people being on the good site will give up.... 

Maybe start thinking outside the box

  1. Why are we asking once per profile? 
  2. Could we also add a question and ask if you are not interested to be active inside WikiTree please confirm this by follow this link and we will take care of your profiles...... 
  3. ......


This isn't really a one-at-a-time process. When Paul determines that a Profile Manager has "left the building," typically all of that person's Public and Open profiles get orphaned. Also, sometimes the profile manager will decide to transfer all of their profiles to the person who submitted a Trusted List request (a gift that isn't always welcomed by the recipient).
Thanks Ellen. You have pretty much got the process. There is a lot to consider when taking action. Yes, if an email bounces then the account is closed straight away. What happens to Private profiles depends on if there are other people on the Trusted List.
There is a significant number of inactive Profile Managers who upload their trees as a completed work and who probably just wanted to have a place online for it. They then remain inactive until such time as someone needs to access a profile. To close their account summarily would certainly generate some ill will with them, and as we used to say in the retail game, one unsatisfied person will tell 10 others about their experience, satisfied people rarely tell others unless asked. Bad press hurts WikiTree.

A waiting period is necessary because many people may not be available at the exact time we send a message (and other attempts may have run foul of Spam filters and not be seen). This only need happen once though. If a manager is shown to be inactive and has been for an extended period, their account will be closed.

I accept the comments about an automatic process. That would be good. The problem with that is that automated processes tend to run foul of Spam filters (too many of the same message). Quite a few of the emails sent out as a result of UPM requests end up with a response like "Sorry, their request was in my Spam folder".
+5 votes
I propose that Green privacy on a profile should have to be renewed manually every so often, by the PM making an edit to the profile.  If it lapses, the profile is automatically opened, or treated as Open.

Nothing would stop the PM reactivating the Green later.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (645k points)
edited by Living Horace
I have a feeling that people add things they don't want to be public to WikiTree so maybe "automaticsally open" is a bad idea which also adding things that are secret to WikiTree is
I'd agree if we were talking about private profiles. But if the status is green/Public, then the information *isn't* secret; it's as visible to the world and to search engines as the Open profiles are.

That said, I wouldn't want the few Public profiles I manage to be opened without first sending me a warning, and there's little reason why I'd *need* to edit those particular profiles until the 1950 census comes out, so I'm not convinced that editing activity is the way to measure this.
In UK  the 1950. Census wiil be released in 2051
+5 votes
I checked a random 100 profiles, and 15 had Green privacy.  That suggests the total number of Green profiles is of the order of 1-2 million.

Of those 15, 1 had a PM who was clearly long gone.  The other 14 PMs all had contributions this year.

8 of the 15 had bios that were essentially empty.

The other 7 had pasted-in census citations and the like, but nothing remotely personal in any way.
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (645k points)

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