Help:Anonymization

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"Anonymization" is the recommended alternative to deletion and an option for members who don't want to reveal their names.

Why to Anonymize

Anonymization is the best way to prevent someone's information from being shared on WikiTree. It converts a profile into an anonymous placeholder. It shows family members that a profile exists but reveals no information, even to family members on the Trusted List.

This helps ensure that family members will not add information about a person in the future. If a profile is deleted there is nothing to indicate that the person doesn't want their information on WikiTree.

For example, let's say Joe Schmoe is the father of Jill. If Jill is deleted and her cousin sees that Joe Schmoe is listed as having no children, she may add the missing daughter. However, if Joe Schmoe appears as having an anonymous daughter, the cousin will know that Jill or her other family members don't want her information to appear on WikiTree.

Anonymization should only be done for living people or recently-deceased nuclear relatives of living people. Anonymization of profiles of long-dead people who are not nuclear relatives of living people is prohibited.

How to Anonymize

1. Click the Edit tab on the profile.

2. Change first and middle name fields to an initial or Anonymous.

Leave both last name fields intact.

3. Clear out all date and location fields.

4. Clear out all sensitive information from the biography. Replace it with a message like "Family members: This person's information has been intentionally removed for privacy. Do not add any information to this profile."

Leave the family relationships intact.

You must leave the last name fields and family relationships intact. Doing otherwise would defeat the purpose of creating an anonymous placeholder.

If someone else created the profile

If you did not add the profile to WikiTree you will need to request Trusted List access in order to follow the instructions above.

However, you may just want to ask the Profile Manager to anonymize it. You can send them a private message through the link on the profile and point them to this page (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Anonymization).

It's important to contact them either way. If they are sharing information on WikiTree there is a good chance they are sharing it elsewhere.

Note that all Wiki Genealogists have signed an Honor Code that says they will respect the privacy wishes of others. They should be helpful. If they're not, see our policy on privacy conflicts.


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This page was last modified 13:32, 21 August 2018. This page has been accessed 3,776 times.