Should source web pages that are no longer valid be updated by other profile managers?

+9 votes
225 views
asked in Genealogy Help by Mary Ellen Alvis G2G5 (5.1k points)
retagged by Robin Lee
Are you asking if someone other than the current PM should update them? Or whether they should be deleted altogether, or something else?
I've seen many situations where Ancestry.com trees have been abandoned, at least for those, it would be difficult for others to add links for them back - and possibly not even very valuable to do so.

When I come across an invalid web page source (other than Ancestry trees) and can find a replacement link for it I will add it even if I am not the PM.
I do the same as you, except if I find a now-invalid ancestry link, if I can provide a different, preferably non-ancestry, current link, I will delete the invalid one and insert the newer one.
For a non-Ancestry link, if I cannot find a working replacement, I annotate that it is a dead link also.

5 Answers

+9 votes
If a link is no longer valid, then doesn't really matter who is doing something about it, as long as it's not destructive.  Sometimes a link is only temporarily out of touch, so you have to beware of that.
answered by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (188k points)
Also, some of the Ancestry links can be repaired. If an Ancestry link to a document gets deleted, and all that is linked is an Indexed record - it's not an improvement. I've notice a lot of old Ancestry links that look like a link to a tree, but go to an actual document.
There are also a lot of tree links that weren't to trees but to a generated page that cannot be found by any of the information that is in the link. Those won't ever come back.
+6 votes

Just a passing thought.  Rootsweb is down and has been since before Christmas as a result of an issue they became aware of, "we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it.

Blog Post - https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2017/12/23/rootsweb-security-update/

My Suggestion is Take care here to not delete these links at this time.

answered by Sandy Edwards G2G6 Mach 6 (69k points)
+7 votes
I usually just mark them as dead links and use the four ~ marks to date it. That way, if the link eventually works again, it's still accessible.
answered by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (404k points)
+2 votes
The links were used as a source. To delete a link/source is to invalidate the data. I had a few disappear on me so now I try to state what the source is (e.g. Transcription of Birth in <ref>, or digital image of Birth Registration at <ref>) so that even if the link dies, someone following me knows why I added something. I say thank-you to people who provide alternate sources as this makes the data much "safer", both from accuracy and from dead links. I would never delete a dead link on a profile I didn't manage though I might note it as a dead link so the owner is alerted.
answered by Lynlee OKeeffe G2G6 Mach 1 (12.3k points)

This all goes back to what is a source. A good source is essentially a map to the data. A link by itself is a relatively poor source. Better than no source but still not very good. Even an Ancestry tree deserves more than just a link. At least they should say which tree and when it was accessed.

Thank you for your comment. I put the Ancestry Link, followed by the information in the link, then copy and paste Source Citation, Source Information, Original Data. It may be too much information, but the next person to come along will have everything that was in the original link.
+3 votes
If I find a dead link, the first thing I do is check archive.org to see if it's been saved there. If it has, then I replace the broken link with a link to the archived version.
answered by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (193k points)

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