How can we improve the cleaning up of Living Surname profiles?

+7 votes

The profile page of George W. Bush lists 6 siblings named "Living Bush". One of those, i.e. the profile that married "Living Welch", is a duplicate George W. himself, and the others are duplicates of named counterparts too. George H. and Barbara had a total of 6 children, so it is completely obvious to me that these "Living Bush" and "Living Welch" are redundant. The same goes for the siblings of George H. W. Bush, where the amount of duplicates is actually bigger than the number of real named siblings.

Most of the offending profiles are managed by a member with a high reputation, who was last active by the end of August. Therefore, it feels quite ackward to file an open profile request. It's also quite tedious to have to complete all required steps for all offending profiles, which are at least a dozen in the president's family, and maybe a lot more in other families too, since the manager is a US Presidents Project Member. I may have completed the steps for a single Living profile, but it's hard to keep track of these steps for all.

At the moment, I feel quite frustrated that a wikitree star can sort of block the cleaning up of profiles like these. That's because, when I see obvious duplicates like these, I like to take action right away, and not wait multiple weeks to complete all necessary steps. Therefore I ask if there can be a way to override or at least speed up the procedure for such obvious duplicates as these, of which there may be dozens or even hundreds or thousands on this site today.



in WikiTree Tech by anonymous G2G6 Mach 2 (20.2k points)
edited by Keith Hathaway

1 Answer

+4 votes
Best answer

Hi Enno,

I'd definitely recommend making personal contact with the manager. It sounds like, as you say, they may just be overwhelmed and have taken on too much responsibility. They may be happy to give up some responsibility if they know another US Presidents Project member is willing to take it on.

I realize that some of the privacy controls break down regarding celebrities and other well-known living people. The controls are designed for families to manage their own privacy, and seem a bit absurd when they're being managed by someone else.


by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by anonymous
Hi Chris,

Thanks. I sent a message to the manager already, and suggested a merge too, but in this case, it would also be helpful if we can search for living as a given name. At the moment, that search yields no results, so it looks like it's blocked, but I think it would help finding this class of profiles, so that we can inform managers that they may have a lot of potential merge candidates.

Another option might be running some sort of script that opens profiles like these, so that they can be merged by anyone.

I put in a request for a merge with the Living Bush manager last night. I also put in a request to be on the trusted list for George , and Living Bush , as it's part of the US President's Project.


Thank you. Eowyn offered to help too, so it looks like we have a crowd today. smiley

Assuming that there are a lot of living profiles outside the Bush family too, I also hope that one of you is able to create a list of profiles with a living given name, because I can't do that myself with the standard search.




I think it is wonderful that several folks stepped forward to work on a well known person, but I think that Enno's expressed frustration highlights a significant problem that could grow to drown Wikitree as it grows.

Both in my own extended tree, and in the PGM project, there are hundreds - no thousands - of very obvious merges that each take an inordinate amount of effort to see through. Adding to this is that many merges that I propose end up with BOTH parties being managed by someone other than myself, so after I propose a merge I have no way (internal to Wikitree) of following the merge's progression.

I understand the suggested procedure for nudging a manager to do something, but if the manager has opted out of the daily email, or is irregularly active on Wikitree, this is cumbersome at best. It may work if you have a tree up to your GG parents, but if you are going back 10 gens or better, and trying to include as many GxG uncles and aunts and first cousins at whatever remove, or working on a project,  it just falls apart.

The "all hands to the pumps" method worked just fine for this known person, but it is not a procedure that lends itself to a general solution. I wish I had a well formulated solution, I do not.

I do think that it should be possible to "nudge" managers more easily. Perhaps if a merge is proposed, and then re-proposed without action the merge should become available for completion automatically in some way. The "contact a supervisor" method just seems to me to be doomed as Wikitree scales up, which it already is doing.

My 2 cents,
Good points, Toby.

I do like the idea of moving to a system where merges are automatically approved at some point if they're not acted upon. This merits careful consideration.

I understand the reluctance to move to automatic approval. I do think it is important for the "nudge" factor to become more forceful. I think that anything which makes merges much harder to ignore, would be good. 

Also,  since I was just looking over my own list of pending merges, I think it would be an improvement if that list made it more evident which merges require action by me. Unless I am missing something, the only way to check if a merge requires action my me is to look for a merge that has the words "Someone from..." at the beginning the merge profile that is mine. If it were up to me, the pending merge list should highlight all merges requiring action by me  in a brilliant color.


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