Change of my policy

+1 vote
I placed a great deal of data on Wiki, work that represents the lifetime efforts of my father and myself, only to see it systematically pulled asunder.

Fortunately, I have retained the original safe from interference.

I have now retained the services of a professional genealogist, to avoid the meddling of amateurs.
in Policy and Style by Tim Perry G2G6 Mach 3 (33.4k points)
edited by Tim Perry
Tim, I have found the best way to prevent the "pulling asunder" to be making sure the profile is well sourced so it's really clear why what I put there is accurate. Then it is on others to prove otherwise.  

It is also possible to restore some edits through the Changes tab.

If there is still a problem, consider following the Help: Problem with Members process.
Tim, would you be willing to give a couple of examples of the types of changes that were made inappropriately?  (Not necessarily the specific profiles, just the types of changes that were made without consulting you.)  If "pulled asunder" means that relationships were disconnected, it seems to me that would be an ideal case for Problems with Members, to help protect others from the same problem.
Jilliane, I have little doubt that others have profiles that fall short of sources, particularly the 'orphan' profiles that we are encouraged to adopt.

Restoring profiles are of little use if they are only to be removed yet again, often without any explanation why.

Problems with Members seems to have little effect when the problem is with a member of admin, it is either ignored, or met with denial.

If someone makes a change without explanation, I ask them for more information.  If there is no response, I pursue the problem with members process.

I'm a volunteer Wikitree mediator and see all incoming and completed mentor and mediation requests. I assure you: a great deal goes into the process with much affect.

I also see nothing in Tim's original post regarding Admin so I don't know why you're raising that separate issue. And if you do raise it separately you should be specific in circumstances if not in name.
This was not anonymous, it was my reply, only for some strange reason, despite being 'logged in', it still showed up as being anonymous.

1 Answer

+18 votes
Best answer
Tim, evidently WikiTree members have added to or changed some profiles that you created and this has upset you. WikiTree is a collaborative effort and your ancestors are also the ancestors of others who may have additional information. Have you tried to contact those who have made changes to your ancestors? They may be, and probably are, a distant cousin who would be happy to collaborate with you.

How is hiring a professional genealogist going to keep profiles on WikiTree from being changed. The best way to prevent major changes is to have your profiles well sourced with every aspect of their lives with well written biographies. The other way to prevent changes is to not post your work on a website that is clearly one of collaboration.

We all have to make a choice about our family history: keep it to ourselves and deny ourselves the opportunity to grow and learn more about our heritage or put it out there in hopes of finding others who are also willing to share to make our ancestors lives complete.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (857k points)
selected by SJ Baty
Virginia, collaboration implies co-operation and discussion, not just changing a profile, then mentioning it as an afterthought. Particularly when those changes are based upon the opinion of an author, rather than documentary evidence.

You are correct in saying that the way to prevent changes is to not post, that is why I have posted nothing for some time. By employing a professional, I can ensure a correct, unbiased report, and Wiki becomes largely irrelevant.

A professional genealogist is well versed in English, it's meaning and use. For example, When a person is presented before the church, it does not mean they were born there. I'm still laughing about that error.

Ah, I think I understand (but probably not) -- the professional genealogist will not be involved in any of the WT profiles you have done nor will they be involved in any future profiles because you are not going to do any more profiles at WT; so we can ignore that part of your announcement. 

The other part is about the collaboration, discussion, notification, and communications of that ilk that SHOULD occur before some other PM touches an Open profile and also that the other PM should not do unless and until the managing PM agrees. 

On this particular point we are advised to remember: An Open profile (white padlock) is not necessarily "mi casa su casa" and we should not invite ourselves in. Thus, the collaboration is emphasized, with an emphasis upon agreements

"Paper wins in court"

Any time on WikiTree that I have ever encountered a disagreement about the genealogy, I present source documents.  If not available, then a well written argument that uses other evidence to support.  And the opposite is true.  When I see something that is improbable or flat out incorrect, I challenge the other member to present evidence to support their position.  If they cannot and I have a 'reasonable' argument to disconnect an ancestor, remove a surname, or otherwise make a significant change, I write an argument, present it on G2G and seek a concensus.

If your tree is being "put asunder" by "amateur genealogists," then I suspect that you haven't written a defendable position.  More specifically, that you have not presented a profile that is fully developed and well supported by primary sources.  Or, that you have not taken the necessary steps to present a case and to enjoin other WikiTree members to cooperate in the discussion process.

I don't see anything wrong with hiring a professional genealogist and posting their findings on your own private server.  But that isn't what WikiTree is about.  WikiTree is about all of the members working on shared profiles and collaborating on the details using evidence (sources and their derrivatives).  A collaborative effort isn't for everyone - and that's OK.  But I do not think that it is accurate to suggest that if someone posts their research that it will be hijacked from them, altered in an historically incorrect manner, and that they have no say so in the process.

The downside to hiring a professional genealogist is that when you die, there is a chance the professional report will get thrown out with so much of your other things by children and grandchildren who aren't as interested in genealogy.  It may be more work in many ways to share your findings (both yours and those of paid help) publically where they can be altered and challenged, but the good news is that your genalogical work will live on and will be available to your descendants.

Very well stated, SJ!
Your comment does not address my point about 'orphan' profiles, that often have no sources.

It is clear to me that this debate will achieve nothing, people only see what they wish to see, so I shall continue my own way.
Tim, not sure what your additional comment about unsourced orphaned profiles has to do with your original post.

You expressed concern that your work was being "put asunder". A number of us have stressed the importance of including sources to support the info you've got on profiles you've created or adopted as a hedge against people making changes, asking editors for the sources supporting any changes they make, a reminder of the restore feature, and then using the problems with members process when all else fails.

Plenty of options.
Well, Tim, not sure what all the fracas is about but no doubt you will fare well in other places. You display a staunch spirit which shall overcome setbacks. Adios, as it is said here in the West.

Thank you SJ for the best answer star!!

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