Merging frustration

+13 votes

Just tried to merge one I'd waited 30 days for and it got denied. One is a green lock and they have approved so why the hold when a green lock manager agrees?

Merging Cameron-7169 into Cameron-1429 Help

We're sorry. One of these profiles is not Open and you are not on either profile's Trusted List

WikiTree profile: Bill Cameron
in WikiTree Help by Tess Cameron G2G6 Mach 5 (53.6k points)
edited by Robin Lee
I agree and am frustrated as well as I have a good number of profiles ready to merge and approved, but privacy locked.

4 Answers

+12 votes
Like it says: "you are not on either profile's Trusted List".  Even if the PM of the green-locked profile has said OK, it needs that PM or a member of either profile's Trusted List to complete the merge.  Not just anybody.
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)

I may be wrong there, but I get the impression that the merge must be completed by someone on the trusted list of the green-locked profile. Even the manager of the open profile can't do it.

Yes I know that Ros, you missed my point though. The green lock profile had agreed to merge so why should that hold up a merge? If it was open, I could complete it.

The green locked profile has given permission to merge without adding strangers to their trusted list.

If we are to continue with 1 profile per person but too many roadblocks prevent people even bothering to suggest merges, it will end up a mess.

I missed your point? I thought actually I was just quoting the RULES:

Unless you are on the Trusted List for both profiles, you will not be able to complete the merge yourself. After you initiate the merge you will be asked to propose a merge, which will then be completed by the other profile manager.

+19 votes

I also find this very frustrating. You also now have to do a trusted list request for the open profile and if they do not respond, you have to go through the "Unresponsive Profile Manager Process"

I am now trying to avoid proposing merges for profiles that are locked.

The process has just become to long and drawn out.

As much as I think it is important that duplicates be identified and merged, it has just become a waste of my time and I feel I can spend it more productively somewhere else on Wikitree.
by Esmé van der Westhuizen G2G6 Pilot (152k points)

Is the issue that you can't merge two profiles if one is Open and the other is not, but has been approved for merge?

And this has recently changed? It used to work and now it doesn't? Do you remember when it changed?




It changed when the new merge system was implemented.

Here was my first thread on 20 Jan -

I do understand the reasons for it all but if you look at the example below, the person with the locked profile has given approval and the other one states Default Approval

Privacy Level 60 Jeffrey Cox (Cox-20283) and Privacy Level 50 Jeffrey Cox (Cox-8183)   Compare compare
Proposed by Esmé van der Westhuizen.
No response for Cox-20283. Default approval.
Approval from Doreen Sutton for Cox-8183 has been recorded.
You can complete this merge after a final comparison.

When I then try to complete the merge I get the following message in a big red box:

We're sorry. One of these profiles is not Open and you are not on either profile's Trusted List. Although permission for the merge has been recorded, it would violate our privacy controls to enable you to complete the merge. Please post in G2G if you would like to discuss this. Thank you for understanding.

Yep, that is my problem too. The locked profile has agreed to merge, the open profile, no response.

I think it should be allowed to be completed as long as the locked profile has agreed. Otherwise the unresponsive manager requests will either go through the roof or none of us will bother trying to get people to merge.

Wasn't it said at some point that if the merge was default-approved (not the case here), then the green-locked profile would be automatically opened so the merge could be completed? Because, it doesn't work either.

As a matter of fact, I have *never* attempted to complete a merge if one of the profiles is green-locked.  Just too much hassle.  And yes, Isabelle, one of the Help pages says that a green-locked profile will be opened - but I have a feeling it was if there was no reply from a PM.  In this case, there was a reply.

I know it says "

Unless you are on the Trusted List for both profiles, you will not be able to complete the merge yourself. After you initiate the merge you will be asked to propose a merge, which will then be completed by the other profile manager.

Alternatively, you can request to be on the other profile's Trusted List, wait until you're added, and then complete the merge yourself."

Aha! Found it! (about a Public profile being Opened):

I have read and gone through all of these procedures, guidelines, suggestions, etc numerous times.

Despite having to jump through all the hoops it might still take up to 3 to 4 months to get merges completed. I have proposed merges still pending since January and there is no indication that these will be resolved soon.

Not worth the effort, especially when I received a request that my constant UPM requests are putting a strain on Wikitree resources.

Thanks for digging this information up, Ros.

And I agree, Esme - merges involving a green-locked profile are not worth proposing any more.

What does this mean for the Wikitree mission of creating One Tree if a lot of the green-locked profiles are going to be a lot of duplicates that might only be merged in the very long distanced future - 150 years after birth or 100 years after death? 


Yes.  I have been waiting for it to be fully implemented.  I have a bunch of Open (white) and Public (Green) merges that can't be finished.
There was one of these merges between a white/open and a green/public profile that I re-proposed after it was announced that the green profile would be automatically set to Open once the merge was default approved. Well, the merge was eventually default-approved - for the second time - but the profile privacy never changed, and I was still unable to complete the merge. On finding out that it is frowned upon to file an UPM request in such a case, I decided to remove the proposed merge and match. Not worth wasting my time and I don't want to have my list of pending merges clogged with merges that will never be completed.
+8 votes
I'm becoming frustrated with changes that are making Wikitree harder to use for those of us who are focused on growing the tree. What is the purpose of Green privacy profiles? I find them all the time on people who have been dead for 50+ years. It clearly isn't privacy, since all of the information is out there for anyone to see and use for any public purpose. Rather, people use it for control - i.e., you can't edit this profile without my permission. How is that consistent with a shared family tree and collaboration? If I propose a merge, wait 30 days (a long time) and you don't respond to my merge request, how is that being collaborative?

I am all in favor of privacy controls for living people. Although I foresee a nightmare of duplicates coming down the road with all of the now-unlisted profiles, I understand the necessity of protecting the information of living people, and Wikitree needs to balance collaboration with that real need.

But control structures over people dead for 50+ years are in conflict with the mission of this tree. I tend to believe that there is a contingent of Wikitree users that are very focused on a relatively moderate number of profiles and perfecting those profiles. To that group, having to wade through a unresponsive profile manager process mustn't seem like a big deal, because it can't come up very much. I can say that for those of us who routinely add 1000-1500 profiles every month and whose major focus is growing the tree, it is a big deal.


1) eliminate green privacy. It is not about privacy.

2) privacy protection should match that of gov't records. If I can find the data in a public database, it doesn't make sense to allow it to be privatized on Wikitree.  If someone has been dead for 50 years (a common benchmark) and I can order their death certificate as a random member of the public why can someone privatize that information on wikitree?

3) Reduce default merge approval to two weeks.
by Sevy Kueber G2G6 (7.4k points)
Gary, it is entirely possible that a person who has been dead for 50 years has children who are still living.  WikiTree's intent is to extend protection of the children's privacy interests.  If the profile were open then any member might add something that, although true, the children might find embarrassing.

As to finding data in a so-called "public" database, that is not limited to government records.  There is no way for WikiTree to make some of the biography public and other parts private, thus the rules about privacy are universally applied to all biography content ... including sources.

Proposed merges often are for older profiles, many of which are historic.  There are many implications and ramifications to being certain that the merge is correct, as well as going to the correct LNAB and the resultant profile will have correct data.  In these cases, two weeks would be far too short a time for all the interested parties to be able to resolve all the necessary questions.

PS - I just checked and found that some of your great-grandparents, who died more than 50 years ago have green locks - at least one even has a gold lock.  This seems at odds with your urging removal of locks.
Gaile -

I suspect you only sought to undermine my overarching concerns by pointing out that two of my great-grandparents had green privacy (none had gold,) which is kind of a petty way to engage with another serious Wikitree user. But thanks for bringing it to my attention; I have since opened those profiles. As you might imagine, my perspective on these things has changed since I added my own great-grandparents to Wikitree 4 years ago and tens of thousands of profiles later.

I don't know what you mean by putting "public" in quotes, and I don't know what you mean by "that is not limited to government records."  What kind of non-governmental public records are you concerned about? If they are truly public records, then that information is accessible by the general public.  But regardless, green privacy doesn't hide the biography, so I don't understand.


I am sure there are ways to bifurcate biography and public data privacy if that was desirable. I don't think your statement that there is "no way" is true - whether that is overly complicated or not is a different question. One could allow the vital statistics data to be public and editable while the biography wasn't or similar, if that's your concern.


I think your statement about adding something to the biography that might be "embarassing" to the children is an interesting one, and it does get at the core of the goal of Wikitree. Is it to be a comprehensive database of genealogy information? What if grandchildren or great-grandchildren are embarrassed by an ancestor's information? What if other children, great-grandchildren or similar are proud of that information? To my thinking, the goal is to document the facts, inasmuch as we can.


Regarding "historic profiles"  - I think you are talking about a special use case. I don't spend a lot of time on famous people with 10 profile managers. I'm sure that could be dealt with in a different way. I've always wondered what "Project protected" actually means, since it doesn't seem to actually protect the profile.


Rather, I spend a lot of time dealing with just regular folks who were uploaded via gedcom by someone back in 2011 with bare bones information, no changes since that time and a barely active profile manager who doesn't respond to merge requests.




P.S. - I don't often post on G2G because it's hard to invest as much time in Wikitree as I do and bring concerns / ideas here only to have people try hard to just shoot down and dismiss everything you say or go immediately to my own family to try to find inconsistencies. This isn't the first time. We're all working here in good faith on this tree, and all of our concerns deserve respectful dialogue and engagement.
+5 votes
Yes, very frustrating that our privacy rules prevent merging even when BOTH profile managers have approved the merge.   Even arborists and leaders have their hands tied on this one.   It would appear that ONLY the profile manager with the highest privacy if yours is green and the other profile manager's is yellow....only the Yellow Privacy profile manager can complete the merge, or in this case only the profile manager of the Green Privacy profile can complete the merge.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (882k points)

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