Spurious amendment

+9 votes
276 views
Just out of curiosity, I checked my contribution log. Apparently at 04.52 yesterday morning I changed the birth place for Margaret (Hayes) Murphy (Hayes-2028) from 'Ireland' to 'Ireland, Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe'. I can state categorically that firstly, I didn't make this nonsensical change and secondly, although Hayes is one of my family names, I'm pretty certain I've never heard of this lady.

Have those Russians been at it again?
WikiTree profile: Margaret Murphy
in WikiTree Tech by Derek Allen G2G6 Mach 1 (12.7k points)
retagged by Derek Allen
Derek, First - I don't know where you are, but 4:52 in the morning is in Greenwich, England ... it may be a more civilized time of day where you are.  That does not excuse that absurd change getting attributed to you, however.

Second, please edit your question and add the tags bugs and sysops - that should bring it to the attention of those who will have the best chance of getting to the bottom of it.
Hi Gaile, thanks for your reply.

I am in England so, 04.52 it is. Not an hour I'm habitually up and about.

I'm afraid 'tags, bugs and sysops' goes right over my head. What is it that I need to do? Any help would be gratefully received!
Derek, when you ask a question, there is a place at the bottom of the entry box where you can enter the WikiTree ID of a profile the question is about.  Just below that is a box for tags.  You enter sort of key words - it's not very well documented which tags are followed by specific projects, but you can also enter a surname and any member who is following that surname will be alerted to your question.

If you edit your question, you enter tags separated by a space.  If one tag is 2 words, then you use an underscore instead of a space between the words so that it gets interpreted as a single tag.  For example, Lynda entered a tag on your question - you'll see profile_changes on your question here.  When you edit the question, just find where that is and add a space after it, followed by bugs, then another space, and finally sysops.  You can enter up to 6 different tags on a question, by the way.

EDITED TO ADD:  I just saw that Lynda changed the tags again and added bugs to profile_changes.

I've now added 'sysops' too. You may think me daft but I had to look up what that was.

I can now add a bit more too this, as this may have been the profile I amended in passing some time yesterday, although not at 04.52. I was checking for duplicate profiles with my great grandmother, Letitia Margaret Hayes and noticed a profile with the birth and death locations as 'Ireland, UK'. This was clearly rubbish (and would have made my Irish ancestors spin in their graves) so I just deleted the UK bit but did not change it to a random African location and not at some ungodly hour of the morning.

Aha!  It just occurred to me what probably happened.  That auto-popup with the suggestions about locations that comes up when it thinks it recognizes what you're typing ... the data in there comes from familysearch and we've been told not to consider it authoritative ... that might have had the crazy place name and you might have accidentally selected it without intending to.  These mice sometimes seem to have a mind of their own, I have found.

This theory, however, does not explain the 4AM business and I know that WikiTree timestamps stuff based on GMT.
But it displays in the reader's time, or what it thinks is the reader's time.

The menu thing happens to me a lot.  Usually, I've finished typing in the box and moved on to something else, and then the drop-down menu finally pops up and grabs keystrokes not intended for it and makes a random selection replacing whatever I typed.
Must be Murphy's law.

4 Answers

+6 votes
Who know what happens at 4:52 in the morning.  You can change it back or undo the change easy enough.  I suggest there's a ghost in the machine.
by Stu Ward G2G6 Mach 4 (45.0k points)

Me. Insomnia (or too much coffee). smiley

+8 votes
Since this is so odd,  hopefully, someone with the technical expertise can take a look.   Perhaps others aren't as attentive as Derek Allen when changes are made using their name.   (For example,  me.)
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (442k points)
+7 votes

If you attempt to edit the location "Ireland" and leave the comma following it, the suggestion list drops down and shows your strange location as second on the list. I think it would be easy to accidentally enter that location without noticing. A warning to all of us to be wary in making location changes surprise

by Shirley Dalton G2G6 Pilot (486k points)
I'm usually fairly meticulous about removing the comma but of course could have left it there by mistake but it still doesn't explain why it went through at 04.52 when I was tucked up in bed.
+2 votes
I had something similar a couple of days back, when someone thanked me for having removed the background image to my grandfather's profile earlier that day. Only I hadn't removed the background or even worked on that profile at all for some months. The background was gone though.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (243k points)

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