If a profile is locked/historically-significant who should be able to merge into it?

+11 votes


We are discussing the possibility of limiting who can merge profiles into one of the historically-significant ancestor profiles.
We don't currently identify these profiles in any fixed way. We just list them. But we'll work on a way to do this. It might be done through the locking mechanism. See Would it be possible to use the ID locking mechanism to identify historically-signficant ancestor profiles?
We currently use this locking mechanism as a way for Supervisors to prevent mature profiles from being merged-away. For example, let's say we have a fairly solid profile at Plantagenet-1. If the ID is locked, it can't be merged into other junky duplicates. However, those junky duplicates can be merged into it.
Merging junky duplicates into mature and clean profiles is an important function of the historically-significant ancestors user groups. We don't want to inhibit that. But merging-in can cause lots of trouble for the managers of the mature profiles, especially because it could include replacing parents which will then later need to be changed back.
The merging-in needs to be done, but it needs to be done with care.
If we limit who can merge into historically-significant profiles, how should we limit it? My inclination would be to make it just the Profile Manager and Supervisors.
The current rule is that anyone on the Trusted List can approve a merge. But we're proposing to let anyone add themselves to the Trusted List of Open profiles.
An idea for a Wiki Historian Honor Code has come up. But that would be something anyone could sign.
in Genealogy Help by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
recategorized by Chris Whitten

2 Answers

+3 votes
Supervisors/profile managers only... I think locking merging INTO AND OUT of that could only be removed (temporarily) like the lock id now... profile managers will likely be supervisors anyway as we need the tools, etc... it would stand to reason if they shouldnt be a supervisor they shouldnt be a profile manager for a HSP.
by Lindsay Tyrie G2G6 Mach 1 (20.0k points)
+5 votes
There should be different levels (which you've already been discussing in another string), and with each new level comes new privileges. As researchers earn the next status, they've gained more experienced with the site so get new privileges...such as being able to edit/merge open profiles that are perhaps 100-150? years old. I don't know how many levels you intend to eventually have, but the idea is for researchers to gain experience using WikiTree before they work with profiles that affect a lot of other people.

Before they reach the last goal of editing profiles 300 years and older, perhaps they should not only sign an honor code, but take a little test (and pass it) that includes a few very important aspects of working with HSP. Maybe they can request a merge/edit that has to be approved by one other party in the top rank before the merge/edit can take place. After a number of these are accomplished and the individual proves himself/herself to be a careful researcher, the person can gain the final status to merge/edit without getting approval.

Earning different levels may include adding so many profiles along with answering questions in G2G, inviting new members, or something as simple as giving out a thank you once in a while. I felt isolated on this site until I got a thank you, then I started reading G2G and felt even a greater sense of community.

Just a few ideas from a newby. :o)
by Debby Black G2G6 Mach 8 (85.9k points)
this is interesting... i saw the g2g ranking but not a general WikiTree ranking... did see thomas had mentioned a user rating which could be cool.... would love it but i add enough to Chris' to do list
Debby, I think adding another requirement to the Wiki Historian (or whatever) level is a good idea. You get the badge when you sign the higher-level code, but we could prevent you from signing until you have made X contributions, gone through some quick survey, and/or ... ?.
That is a VERY GOOD IDEA... WikiTree, right now, seems to give you all the info at once and the pages of help are hard to find, there is no newsletter with useful tidbits or anything like that... so if you dont go SEARCHING for the answers... or harass someone to give them to you * :) Hi Chris :) * you will never know.

I know when I originally joined WikiTree I went in search of info and knew there were supervisors who could merge your profiles (which oddly enough, there WERENT at that point!) and learned a lot about merging/matching etc before posting anything... I have seen a lot of sites that have a process of "learning" new things (cant think of a good example right now) but perhaps you could be a newbie and cant upload gedcoms (to avoid storing only) or manually create more than maybe your great grandparents down without doing some things like... reading how to find matches, importance of actually evaluating the matches that come up when you create a new profile, why duplicates are bad, locating the G2G forum, editing a page, adding a category, adding a link in a bio, adding a picture, etc... (just some basic tasks)

Then when you get your gedcom imported, if you do, it should harass you to FIND MATCHES!

Signing the honor code before having your feet wet at all is actually kind of a bad idea... no one gets half the stuff, TRULY, in relation to actual operations until later...

I think the HSP adder badge should not just pop up/prompt, etc until you go to add one and to prevent reading it 6 months ago and coming in now and forgetting all about the points it makes...
What's the status of all this? I'm  new to wikitree but with significant experience in colonial New England research.  I immediately jumped in to merging and cleaning up profile pages that fall into this description.  And it didn't take too long for me to annoy someone enough that they blocked me from editing a page they manage.  Before I invest a lot more time into this endeavor I want to make sure I'm working in alignment with the general community "consensus" here.  Please advise.  Thanks.

Hi Jillaine.

We didn't end up adding anything beyond the Honor Code, at least not yet. I think we want to avoid adding any complexity that isn't absolutely necessary. Part of the problem with a lot of contributors on WikiTree is that they joined before certain policies were in place.

The Honor Code, for example, is only a year old. If someone joined before that, they could have uploaded a GEDCOM without understanding how WikiTree works. The basics of how the site works -- and especially that it's all about collaboration -- have changed little. But we've become better at explaining how it works. We've also become much more restrictive about things like GEDCOMs.

If someone is violating the Honor Code and politely pointing them to http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Special:Honor_Code and http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Collaboration doesn't work, call on Tami, Lianne, or me for help.


This answer helped me alot and it also has helped me that you recommended me to come here and begin to get my feet wet in the hsa arena and now i understand better some of the issues wikitree is trying to sort out and plan for... i definately will keep reading and commenting or questioning whats going on please dont get sick of me too soon i try to learn fast ;)

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