How do you determine whether an existing profile whose info is all private is the same as a person you want to add?

+5 votes
in WikiTree Help by Colleen Vachuska G2G4 (4.3k points)
retagged by Maggie N.

2 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
About the only thing you can do in that situation is write to the Profile Manager of the private profile and provide him/her with enough info to determine whether you have a duplicate.  If the PM is non-responsive or non-cooperative, or you cannot agree on the appropriate connections or what data to make public, I would go ahead and add the profile.  (I suspect that some people in that situation just skip Step 1, which is one reason we have a lot of duplicates.)  Just my opinion, others may have a different viewpoint.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (389k points)
selected by Joseph St. Denis
In other words, someone could add a profile, keep most of the information private except the name, and then someone else could add a profile for the same person and have all of the information public.   I had been wondering if, when you started to enter a profile for such a person that was already in the system but private, they would become "unmasked."
Yes, I don't know of anything that would prevent you from entering a duplicate with different privacy settings if you wanted to.  If you have a particular case in mind, you could easily test the "unmasking" question.  But I think if the system did that, it would open the door to someone just guessing a few private details correctly and compromising the whole private profile.  Or on the flip side, if you had a true duplicate with a different detail or two, then the software might decide it's not really a dup after all.
Could you mark it ‘unmatched merge’ in the hope of a future merge?
I don't know whether this fits the situation I encountered.  I searched for a profile for my aunt (uncle's wife) who died in 1998.  Her parents predeceased her and have profiles with correct dates.  Finding no profile for my aunt, I created a profile.  Now it appears that the PM of her parents' profiles has blocked me from linking their child.  The parents' profiles list 3 unnumbered unnamed private children.  So I can't determine who must have made a private profile for this aunt, unless the PM of the parents' profiles may know.  

I don't see that someone who died over 2 decades ago  would be classed as recently deceased, when the information required to make a profile is public.  I don't know the PM of the parents' profiles at all. Her profile is locked to prevent finding out whether she is related. The only activity in the last 2 years on her list is a merge of a duplicate profile in the tree I am trying to connect with, which has common ancestors with mine (not recent). The comments on her profile are over 3 years old.

As an aside, my own concern with respect to profiles of recently deceased relatives is the altering or outright defacing  on other sites, even on findagrave.  I haven't seen this on wikitree, maybe it isn't well known to people who do that.
+4 votes
A difficult question, and why, as Dennis mentioned, there are probably lots of duplicates.  People may not agree on the desired privacy settings.  I don't want to propose an overly confrontational answer here.  I'm lucky that in my own case, none of my family members are interested in keeping our recently deceased family members private.  One thing you might try is contacting the profile managers of the profiles in question.  Presumably they are your close relatives if they control profiles that are also closely related to you.
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (320k points)
Actually, I was adding a profile for someone who was not a relative of mine and saw an existing profile with the same name but little other information.  I wondered if there was any way to find out if it was the same person, though I have no particular reason to think it would be.  I decided to just add the profile that I had planned to add - that seemed simplest.    Thanks for everyone's input.
When I was trying to create my grandmother's profile,  I was a bit surprised to see another "private"  profile that seemed to match her data.    I contacted the PM before creating her profile and it turned out he had indeed created my grandmother's profile  (though he was unrelated).......  he turned over management of her profile to me.   

Bottom line,   contact the PM to see if they're the same.
Would I be correct in assuming that in questions involving a private profile, one should not comment publicly, but one must send a private message to the PM?
If you mean can you refer to a profile number in the course of asking a question, I see nothing wrong with that as it does not reveal anything.  If you mean can you disclose information that is hidden within that private profile, I'd say no, don't do it.

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