How do I quit and remove my family tree from wikitree?

+12 votes
I'm a person who regards genealogy proved by historical data very important. Three or four times now I've had my family tree members changed, children added/deleted, etc. without consultation, without discussion, without regard for the historical data links I provided, and without explanation or new historical data. I don't mind being corrected when I'm proved wrong as long as it proceeds orderly from a discussion which provides sufficient historical data proof. Nowadays, it seems like I see a new tree every time I log on. Today the data was even more ridiculous and out of whack than normal. Life is too short to have this stress. I'll take my family tree somewhere else. I want to quit and remove my presence from wikitree.
in WikiTree Help by Tony Cox G2G Crew (540 points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

5 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer


Yours isn't an uncommon feeling. I've felt that way too on occasion. It's one thing to be there, in person, working with others; it's another to be collaborating online, with people acting separately. 

I'm guessing that your current issue is primarily with the actions of one overzealous "Data Doctor" on the profile of Moses Duke. Is that correct? From that it seems that you have a fair contention. 

The following is mixed with a generous amount of opinion, as I can't be certain of why that merge was undertaken. But, such erroneous actions are frequently a problem with people acting as WikiTree's "Data Doctors": they have become accustomed to undertaking edits in accordance with the mere suggestion from an algorithm operating on the database, rather than editing solely when justified on the basis of further documentary evidence

Despite their good intentions (as good intentions when acted upon often have unintended consequences), people still make mistakes and (unintentionally) break rules. Violations that I have personally observed among Data Doctors, contrary to their mandate, include the removal of information from a profile and failing to "contact the profile manager through a private message before making any changes". 

It gets further complicated when WikiTree rewards users based on the number of their edits ("Club 100" or "Club 1000", anyone?), rather than in keeping with their contributions' quality, thereby incentivizing a different focus: apparent quick-and-easy edits. So that further complicates the situation.

But I would encourage you to persist. Although tedious, a bad merge can be fixed! Moreover, you can prevent further dubious edits by flagging another profile as a "Rejected Match". Remember, WikiTree is a "big tent" in terms of skill levels and backgrounds. It sounds like you've had some time to hone your skills, but remember that many others are still in that process. Despite our variable skills, we all share common ground in the desire for this to be an evidence-supported enterprise, in which we seek to be excellent to each other, as expressed in the Honor Code. But everyone will make mistakes occasionally and many of us are learning as we go, so a polite little nudge sometimes helps. 

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (141k points)
selected by Michelle Enke
+11 votes
Hi Tony,

Its a shame you feel like that! I believe 99.9% of wikitreers are at least trying to do the right thing, many are also experienced genealogists. G2G is a forum to ask for help with problems like this. I'm not going to lie, your ancestors have public profiles, as do all of ours. Which means they can be edited. The vast majority of us would include a comment or message if we edit a profile. For those that don't.... You could remind them about the honour code we all signed?

I would say message the member/s before giving up on the wikitree community entirely!
by Lizzie Griffiths G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
Tony, I would just add that sometimes the logical thing to do is to post a message on the profile where the changes were made....but unless the person you need to communicate with is the profile manager, they won't be notified.  Its important to message them directly (and also count to ten before sending.  As Lizzie said, people are trying to do the right thing).
Yep, the count to ten, followed by a deep breath.... The key bit before sending a private message! But its OK to vent a bit on G2G, its good for the soul ;-) haha

Tony, you can also file a Mentor Intervention Request (see page Problems with Members) if none of the above suggestions (which are all great ones) help you.

You can always restore the profile to how you had it before erroneous information was added.

+10 votes
It takes awhile to get used to the collaborative nature of WikiTree.  I try to see all changes as a contribution.  If unproven or incorrect information  is added to a profile I manage, I usually remove it and add it to a Research notes section as speculative or incorrect information. Documenting common mistakes really builds the value of the profile. And then I'll message the contributor, thank them for their changes and ask if they can provide sources that I'm unaware of.  Sometimes even if the changes they made were wrong, it leads down an interesting path that still turns up useful information.

As someone who care about proper sourcing, you can help move things in the right direction, so I hope you'll stay.
by M Cole G2G6 Mach 9 (93.0k points)
+10 votes
Hi Tony! Have you tried contacting them privately? Oftentimes, people simply got people confused, especially with profiles that are farther back or have more common names. There is a lot of misinformation out there in the world - it is up to us to help everyone sort out the misinformation. Please consider staying on!

You could also try and see if the problematic profile(s) would qualify for a project. If yes, you could see if they can possibly project protect it.
by Liz Marshall G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
Yes, I tried that the first and second time. I don't need the stress
Absolutely understandable. We'll be sad to see you go, especially with your dedication to sourcing, but you should do as you feel comfortable.
+12 votes
Hi Tony.  While I agree with the sentiments in the other responses, I see that nobody really answered the question you asked.  I say sleep on it, and then if you still want to quit the process for closing an account is here:

You can't really remove profiles from the site.  Since this is a single worldwide tree with one profile per person, the profiles may also represent ancestors and cousins of many other people.  And someone some day probably will be willing to pick up and continue with them where you left off.  Either way, good luck with your research.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (571k points)
Thank you

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