How can I simply make all of my information viewable, not editable, by someone?

+1 vote
in Genealogy Help by Ron Solyntjes G2G Rookie (200 points)

1 Answer

+2 votes
Best answer
It isn't possible to allow some people to view everything but not edit.

At the "Public" privacy level anyone can view everything, and only the people on the Trusted List can edit. But you can't have "Private" profiles that only some people can view and only a smaller subset of people can edit.
by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Keith Baker
Excellent answer.  And very disappointing. This must be a feature that every user on the site would like to have.
Many new users ask about it, but once they get comfortable with the wiki model it becomes a non-issue.
I've found that the trick is to limit the Trusted List, ie., don't trust everyone.
I suspect it always remains an issue.  Users simply tolerate it, as the only other option is to quit the which point they aren't users.
The bottom line is that WikiTree is all about collaboration. That's why we exist. If you don't want to collaborate -- if you only want to "share" by showing others what you've done -- you shouldn't be contributing to WikiTree. See
You're right, Chris, I'm willing to collaborate, and share, its just that my siblings and close family don't seem to be interested. I hope others that have knowledge of my family will ask to be trusted. I'm perfectly willing to trust anyone who thinks they are related. I was just imagining a scenario where siblings would be squabbling about when/where grandpa was buried, or some such.
Chris: Very defensive and self righteous answer.
Hi Tom. I've found that disagreements are less common than you'd expect, and that people are better at coming to a conclusion than you'd think. You never expect everyone in a group to agree on all the facts ex ante, before the facts are discussed. On a wiki progress is made incrementally. Changes are carefully tracked and mistakes can be fixed. Disagreements can be worked through. And isn't this what you'd want? In the case of siblings squabbling about where grampa was buried, rather than avoid the conflict, wouldn't you want to openly work it out and record all the proposed theories and the sources that back them up?
Hi Anonymous. This is a very touchy issue for me, and for many WikiTreers. It goes to the heart of what WikiTree is all about (actually, what a wiki is all about).
If I understand what you are saying, the WikiTree limitation actually deters participation, and in turn collaboration, as either someone has the right to change my entries, or they can't see them at all?  Is that how it works?
Not having siblings puts me at a disadvantage, I guess, too much imagination. And if anyone wants to question my lack of siblings, my half-brother and half-sister had gone from the home before I was aware. Now we are close, but while I was developing I had no siblings. Yes, discussion is often needed, and yes this is a good place for it.
Regarding "someone has the right to change my entries, or they can't see them":

No, you can make a profile public, and anyone can see it, but only those on the trusted list can edit it.
Hi Anonymous. I assume by "my entries" you're talking about WikiTree profiles and not G2G contributions, personal memories, comments or something else? Check out for how the read/write permissions on profiles work. It's important to understand that profiles aren't really "mine" or "yours". Check out for more on this.
Good info, thanks.  Here's a scenario, probably common:

I have sweated it out entering data going back to my GG grand parents and beyond.  Everything past my grandparents is public.  I want to collaborate and share.  Everything from me up to and including my grandparents is completely private -- one of the most often asked questions for security is, "What is your mother's maiden name" etc.  I just don't want to share it.  So, I make my daughter "Trusted" and she can see everything and edit everything.  Then along comes a fourth cousin.  I would like her to be able to see everything, including my daughter's name and vitals, my parents, and my grandparents.  But, and this is the big "but," I don't want to give my fourth cousin editing rights.  

I don't see how this is "anti-collaborative" and deserves a "take it or leave it if you don't have the spirit" answer.  Maybe I don't understand the privacy settings.  Maybe this is an option that should reasonably be available.  What do I properly understand, and what do I have wrong?  Thanks.
Ron, if you don't fill in your cousin's email address, they won't have editing rights to their own profile. Even if you do, they won't have editing rights to other profiles. Is this your concern?
Thank you for your patience.  I really have tried to figure this out, and I even have a computer background, but I am still a little confused.

I would like to allow my cousin to view my beautiful family tree that I created starting with me and going back to the 17th Century.  However, my profile and those I entered up to and including my grandparents are "private."  The profiles I entered for people prior to by grandparents are "public."  How can I allow my cousin to view my family tree, including me back to my grandparents, without either making those profiles public or also providing her editing privileges?
Hi Ron. How come you don't want your fourth cousin to have editing rights on your daughter's profile. A fourth cousin is pretty distant, so I would have a problem on the privacy side, but you're saying you're afraid that they'll change your daughter's profile and you won't agree with their changes? As long as the changes are tracked and you hear about them you can fix any mistakes the fourth-cousin may make.
I don't want to allow my cousin to make changes.  That seems to be the problem.  I can see that my phrasing of the question was confusing.  Let me rephrase it:

How can I allow my cousin to see my profiles that are "private" with respect to the general public and still not allow her editing rights?
Hi Ron. You were clear. This is what you asked right from the start: "How can I simply make all of my information viewable, not editable, by someone?" The answer is: Sorry, but you can't. To allow it would be to cut the "wiki" out of WikiTree.
Chris, I suspect you are one of the creators of the site.  If so, congratulations as it is great.  

But with respect to your position on this question, with all due respect, it makes not sense whatsoever.  For one thing, you already allow users to enter information that is not available to the public.  No Wiki.

The answer for this feature, that I imagine most everyone would like to see, could be implemented simply by limiting it to user plus two generations.  You've created an all-or-none choice for all profiles; yet, the privacy and collaboration issues are completely different for profiles of one's immediate family versus distant relatives.

I've got $10 that says this you will eventually change it.

I'm going to side with Chris on this one.  WikiTree's goal is Collaboration There is ample privacy protections in place to prevent viewing and changing profiles for individuals alive today.  If your goal is simply to post a 'beautiful family tree' that can't be touched their are numerous web sites for that other than this one.  The WikiTree goal is to build a world tree and most of us are excited to find that someone else has a common ancestor and encourage their input.  I'm sure many of us have which certainly allows publishing and is a paid for service.  You can have a private tree there. 

I would suggest that you read the purpose of this site again and reconsider your bet.



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