Is there any point in having profiles for living notables anymore?

+22 votes
I'm sure this has already been reshashed, but with the new privacy rules, every living notable is now unlisted.  I looked up one today, too see about his ancestry. I was a fan and thought I could maybe add a bit to his tree.

But it was unlisted and I could see nothing.   There was nothing for me to work on.

So that brings me to the question.  What's the point of creating profiles for living notables if no one can so much as even look at them or even get the slightest idea what their ancestry is.

I'm not talking disclosing any information, that is sensitive.   Queen Elizabeth the 2nd is now unlisted, yet I can go on Wikipedia and learn a lot about her.

Perhaps a special profile could be created, where you can see the name, some very basic biographical info and links to any parents.   Granted some of these people have living parents, but some do not.

But at least from my perspective, there is absolutely no point in creating profiles for living notables anymore.   You can't see them, you can't learn about them and you can't research them, without express permission from the manager.

And considering that 95% of my merge requests are simply ignored, good luck in getting on the trusted list for any of them.   You'll sent the request and most of the time, you'll never hear anything back.

Perhaps this sounds like a gripe, and it is, but I think it is a valid question nonetheless.

Is there any point in having them.  And if we're going with the mega privacy route, then perhaps they should all be deleted.  Unless those people join wikitree and create their own profiles, themselves.   Perhaps then, only dead notables should be allowed.
in The Tree House by Craig Albrechtson G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
retagged by Lynda Crackett
You might want to add the privacy and gdpr tags.
Well two things in life are certain. Eventually everone's profile becomes eligible to be opened..

7 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
Maybe the Notable Project can make a page to list all the celebs on WikiTree so you know there won't be a need to recreate one. :-)
by Charlotte Shockey G2G6 Pilot (992k points)
selected by Kenneth Evans
Now this is the best idea I have heard. There is already a page of Notables but it is woefully out of date!!

It needs to be updated with all the notables I have connected - currently listed on my profile - and also that of Benny Hill who was just connected today!!

And also others who are mentioned on the Monthly Notables posts in G2G.
Where's the list? I should see if I can get the ones I'm managing on there, too. :)
Plus, I have a whole list that was on my Notable Cousins page too.
Sorry Charlotte - have just updated my response
Gotcha! :)
Hmm it's all scattered on there. Think it would be great to have an actual page of A-Z notables; without the other stuff.
Maybe talk to Scott Fulkerson and see what he says. He's a leader for the Notables.
Will do :)
+18 votes
Hopefully soon the privacy restrictions for Notables will be relaxed. I've done a lot of research on my favorite rock stars; I'd hate to see them languish, unseen and ignored, until their deaths.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (323k points)
+14 votes

There's certainly no point in creating any new ones anymore. If you had a specific interest in a particular celeb, I suppose you could email a Notables Project manager as has been suggested.

But if you try to add one, you might see something like this if there's a duplicate, as I do if I start to create a profile for Justin Bieber:

If any of the following appear to be a match do not proceed to create the new profile. Connect the existing profile instead.

Gee, that was helpful, wasn't it? And those links actually go to "Help:Unlisted Profiles In Lists".

So unless and until WikiTree decides to walk back some of its changes with respect to living notables, or we want 40 different unlisted Justin Bieber profiles, there pretty much isn't a point anymore.

by Nathan Kennedy G2G6 Mach 4 (40.4k points)
I can forsee a lot of new users doing exactly that.
At this stage, the easiest way to handle entering information related to a Notable is to crawl back up the line to the first available "dead person" in their tree, and start there. If you find they're already entered and an "Unlisted Person" is their child, odds are it's someone in the Notable person's line. I would agree that it's challenging, but you can also do some deductive reasoning (someone mentioned earlier wanting to create a newly deceased Notable, and we had to look at existing profiles and unlisted profiles, and then make a judgment call).

Note that WikiTree Admins do have the ability to look at Unlisted profile data, as do the Projects that either are the PM's or on the Trusted list. So if someone has done as they should, and added the project to the profile when it was created, then it's likely that the project can assist in finding if there's a duplicate or not. If that doesn't work, then an Admin can help.

But it will definitely lead to more duplicates, and challenges ahead.

Can we make a page for A-Z of Notables with profiles on WikiTree? They don't neccessarily need to be linked but at least so it's known what's on here? I know I have a long list of those I am cousins to on a page and then the ones I am PM for. Just an idea. :) I'd be happy to help but I'm not a Notable Project member. :)
If you look at the Notables category,  there is already an A-Z list to view. However, because there are tens of thousands of profiles it's like drinking from a firehose. If we were to attempt to create a manual list, it would take a huge effort and require many participants. Unfortunately I don't think we have the resources.
+6 votes
The only reason I can think of offhand is for your own research if you are related to one. Not much point I can see for working on unrelated notables, but if you have one in your own tree, it's definitely a useful tool for research. Just like any living relatives you might have added.
by Amber Brosius G2G6 Mach 2 (25.9k points)
+12 votes
Today many major news services from the US blocked all feeds to the UE because of this new rule.  Many American corporations are simply saying goodbye to the members of the US because after doing cost analysis they realized it may not be fiscally possible to comply with the new rules.  The news about this and what it is affecting is just now sinking in.  

I fully expect there will be changes for things like notables.  Perhaps their families will need to e unlisted for now, but I would think England would have been in a major uproar if they could not watch the wedding...  

I am all about protecting privacy but this is beyond protecting privacy this is eliminating people from public view completely and that is not realistic.  I think within a year we will see changes begin as people realize what these restrictions are doing and as companies come to understand what they can and can't do.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (849k points)
And if this is a European Union law, there will have to be more changes once Britain finalizes it's exit from the EU. I think the law will change as they realize it's written too broadly to be effective, and also what those effects are economically.
Most of the news services are really the same one - Tronc - formerly Tribune Publishing. They didn't do it because of problems with news stories, they did it because they don't want to comply with the personal data collection rules that are also part of it. That turns out to be the big reason for shutting Europe out, not problems with reporting.
There won’t need to be changes for the UK after Brexit The have passed an equivalent law already  to keep  things consistent.
The news will be a bit more difficult to report, if the only information you can provide would be regarding "dead people".

Today, someone did something that we can't talk about, unless they give us permission. And more of the same after this break.

I wonder if police and criminals have the same protections? If so, if you commit a crime nowadays, can they even put the criminal's name on the news? Or identify the arresting officer? I just think some of this has gotten far out of hand and I hope that they reign it in soon. I agree that private people should have private lives, but public people who have public lives and have little reason for this level of privacy or whose livelihoods depend to a significant extent on publicity will be significantly negatively impacted by these changes. It wouldn't surprise me if some Hollywood star makes a fuss in the near future and sues.
I have no problem blocking WikiTree in Europe. There is no reason the rest of the world should suffer for the extreme regulations of European reactionaries. If Europeans object, then they can protest the regulations or live with it. That may be cold, but so are the regulations.
This is not about reporting the news or about writing about the public actions and  personal details  made manifestly public of well public figures .
I am able to read news quite easily in both European papers and those US ones that tell me what they do with my data ( ie tracking my visit) and allow me to opt out.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which is the underlying principal behind the 'new' law (which in many aspects is not new ) is an attempt to ensure this freedom in the age of the internet.

'Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.'

The charter also includes the rights of freedom of expression and to impart information and hold opinions.  
I've read some really odd and  totally misinformed things about our supposed lack of rights in the last couple of days.
Here is the text of the charter.
I am glad that Wikitree has updated its privacy policy and we now have clear details on the data it holds and what it is used for.

People will still be able to read biographies of the Queen or of the latest pop star, author or master criminal. The BBC hasn't suddenly removed its pages on the Royals complete with family tree and dates.
Helen Ford is absolutely right. And those US media, like the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, which have for the time being barred EU people from accessing their websites may just need to ensure they get explicit consent to any visitor tracking they do, and to any use of cookies. That is not a big deal. I expect them to get their act together on this quite soon, as other US media organisations aready have.
They've known the date it would go into effect for two years. Tronc (formerly the Tribune Group) is trying to make a bigger deal over this than it is and get excitable Americans worked up. Yes, they could have the opt out options available but they don't want to give up any of the revenue they get from selling private data to advertisers. They want people to think it is about the news but it is about greed.
The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, Breitbart News, Fox News, etc etc etc do not seem to be having any problems. Just confirms what you say, Doug.
+6 votes
This won't just affect News it will also affect World History and School Report Projects and Text Books. Restricting access to living persons will affect the content of reports for History Classes. Their are some interesting persons that are in the EU Countries and Europe that are now going to be inaccessible to children in school to do reports on. I hope this will bite them in the butt.
by Chris McCombs G2G6 Mach 6 (61.3k points)
I can reassure you that this is simply not true. EU residents will still be able to access information about prominent living people. The news media will still be able to report about living people - and GDPR explicitly recognises the rights of the news media. There are lots of very very wildly exaggerated fears and perceptions. Some of them are fuelled by organisations whose real motive is that they want to sell or exploit personal data for profit and without people’s consent.

I would anticipate that, in due course, Wikitree will be able to relax the rules about living notables, especially where it is clear that they have consented to information being public, as is obviously the case with, for instance, birth and marriage dates etc of people like the UK royal family. But even the UK royals have rights to privacy, which they safeguard vigorously. The difficulty will be setting a policy which protects the rights to privacy everyone, however notable, has, and making sure Wikitree members follow that policy.

As will be clear from my many comments on the subject of GDPR, I warmly welcome it and the way it is forcing us here on Wikitree to be more careful and ethical with privacy. And as I have said ad nauseam, most developed countries outside the EU have equivalent rules. There is an internationally agreed outline model (developed in OECD) which countries’ rules usually follow. The US is unusual in not having such rules.
+9 votes

This also affects the Relationship Finder. Before, I could look at someone like Justin Trudeau and see if I was related to them. 

Now, clicking the link  just gets me a notice that reads "Sorry, Trudeau-195's family tree is not public and you are not on their Trusted List."

by Aaron Gullison G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
We should just put everyone on every Trusted List. Problem solved.

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