Help:Moderating G2G

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Categories: Leader Help

Moderators: See the new Discussion Rules.

Project Leaders and G2G Moderators have powers in G2G that other members do not have.

Please read and understand this page fully before exercising your powers. Thank you!



  • Edit questions, answers, and comments. Look for the small "edit" link beneath a message.
  • Re-categorize or re-tag questions. Click the "edit" link.
  • Close questions. Look for the small "close" link beneath a question.
  • Hide inappropriate questions, answers, and comments. Look for the small "hide" link beneath a message.
  • Clear flags on questions, answers, and comments. See the "Admin" tab on G2G.
  • View hidden questions, answers, and comments and reshow them. See the "Admin" tab on G2G.

Leaders also have the ability to block anonymous spammers (see section below).

Flagging vs. Moderating

Any member can flag an inappropriate question. When this is done, Moderators gets an e-mail message. Essentially, flagging is asking for help moderating the question. It does not hide or delete the question.

If a post receives two flags however, it will be automatically hidden until it can be reviewed.

As a Moderator, you should feel comfortable trying to fix the problem yourself instead of just flagging it.

If you're uncertain what to do, don't hesitate to flag the question or hide it temporarily and discuss the issue in the Moderators group or contact

Editing Questions

Keep in mind that G2G is not wiki, in the sense that editing and improving upon other people's work is not generally encouraged, carefully tracked, etc.

When you edit a question, a line will appear that says you edited it, but it will not say what you changed or why. Therefore, you should avoid making meaningful changes to what someone else wrote.

Please fix obvious typos and errors in the question itself, if it's safe to assume the person would want them changed. However, don't change the body of the question except in the cases below.

You might want to add something to clarify a question. In these cases, we usually put what the moderator added in brackets. For example:

  • Change "Can you help?" to "Can you help [find Smith ancestors]?"
  • Change "GEDCOM problem" to "GEDCOM problem [exporting descendants]"

Publicly-Posted Email Addresses

Public messages should never include an email address. Among other problems, it could lead to the person receiving spam.

Everyone who posts needs to be logged-in, so they can receive private messages through WikiTree.

Replace an email address with "[send me a private message]".

If you want to go the extra mile, you can make "private message" a link with the private message URL from their profile, e.g.

Information about Living People

All G2G questions are public. Therefore, we do not allow questions about living people. It says this in the instructions when posting but many people don't see it or ignore it.

When you see a question about a living person, please post a comment that says something like the following:

"Hi X. I'm sorry, but questions about living people are not allowed on G2G. All questions here are public. The privacy controls that exist elsewhere on WikiTree don't exist here. Therefore, I'm hiding this question."

Then hide the question.


Spammers are impossible to block through technical means alone because they are not all "bots". Spammers hire people in the Third World for a few cents an hour to look for places to post their garbage.

When you see spam, first hide the question.

If you're not a Project Leader, e-mail the Mediators at

If you're a Leader, proceed to block the spammer as follows.

Block anonymous spammers within G2G

If a spammer has posted without registering on WikiTree, click where it says the name they entered. This leads you to their user page. Then click the button that says "Block IP Address".

If they have posted more than one question, you can also hide all their questions using another button.

Once the IP address is blocked, please send an email to and ask for the posts to be deleted.

Block registered members on WikiTree

If a spammer has registered, click to their WikiTree page and follow the normal procedure for blocking. Email a team member to delete the account.

Offensive Comments and Insults

If a comment is grossly offensive or aggressively insulting to another member in a personal way, hide it. Leaders are given these powers to help keep the site a friendly place.

In these case, the comment should not be deleted. It should only be hidden. This way others can confirm your decision.

If the post is from an active member, someone will need to talk to them. Please send them an email or private message about why you hid the comment. Include on this conversation if necessary.

We need to be careful with this power. People don't want to feel censored.

Caution: Hiding when there are legitimate replies

You're in a tough position if you want to hide a question or answer but it has legitimate comments from others in reply. Their comments will lose their proper context. Therefore, be much more cautious hiding a post that has been replied to.

If there are legitimate replies from others, you may want to let them make the decision about whether their comment should be hidden, or delete the offensive content from the original message rather than hiding the whole message.

Correcting Categorization

It's a common mistake to put a question about genealogy in the WikiTree Tech instead of Genealogy Help, or vice-versa. Please correct these when you see them.

Improving Tags

Improving tags is one of the most important things you can do as a moderator.

You understand the role of tags better than most. You know that tags mean members who are Special:Following the tag will see the question.

Tags that nobody would follow or use to search within G2G are generally meaningless and can be removed.

Some tags are not obvious. For example, a question about categories should be tagged "categorization" not "categories" since the former is what Categorization Project Members follow.

Surname tags are very beneficial if the question is about a person, etc. Questions that are tagged with surnames appear on surname index pages as well as in feeds. Some new members make the mistake of adding their own surname as a tag when the question is from them but not about them.

Geographical tags are also beneficial as many projects use the geographic regions as tags and are happy to help with research since they are familiar with an area. This is also true with one-place studies.

See G2G Tag Talk for more information on tags recommended for use in G2G.

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This page was last modified 18:15, 29 April 2021. This page has been accessed 2,722 times.