Is it appropriate for some profiles of living persons not to be private?

+2 votes

If a person is famous and has biographies scattered all over the web, including the names of children, should the profile still be marked as private?

RE: The default for living people and non-living people when added as nuclear relatives of living people.

in Genealogy Help by Debby Black G2G6 Mach 8 (81.9k points)
I see that some of the other WikiTreers are using the orange locks:

Private with Public Bio. I could take the children (now adults, but living) out of the bio, but the adult children's names can be found fairly easily on the web. ???
For the presidents project we deal with this.  Bushes, Carter, Clintons etc.. all have living children.  It is completely appropriate to put that information into Wikitree if the source of it has been made public.  For instance on the website.  What isn't appropriate is to release privately sourced information like home addresses. social security numbers etc..
Sigh...what to do. Seems to be quite controversial. I've only added two of the four famous profiles and spent considerable time researching multiple web sites to write the biographies, but they are sitting there unread and quite lonely--marked private. It's especially hard to leave them that way because both subjects of these profiles have written tell-all books including the names of their children.

Thanks for your response, Ed.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

Hi Debby,

My feeling is that we don't want to make a special policy for celebrities. WikiTree is about families, not just individuals, and when you open one profile you inevitably expose some data about other individuals. Keeping the other individuals private takes care of most of this, but like you say, there's a still a chance that information is in the bios and elsewhere.

Plus, then we get into the business of defining what makes someone famous and therefore deserving of less privacy. Could get ugly.


by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
selected by Keith Baker
Thanks, Chris. It didn't even cross my mind about slightly famous people and the sticky situations we could get into by defining who is famous and who is not because I was focused on four profiles where there would be no question or debate.
I would say that we don't really need to make some of these decisions.  If the persons themselves release information into the public domain then we should be able to use it.   As in all sources we look at we need to be reliable judges.  There are famous people that protect that aspect of their privacy and we have no 'right' to it.  There are others that do release it.  We don't need to sit in moral judgement nor should we decide we need to be more protective of President Obama's children than he is.

We can make no moral judgements for others but we must for ourselves and i refuse to put info on minor ch or their parents as public fodder no matter their own or others judgement calls.

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