Help:Private Orphans

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Categories: Sysop Help

The Problem: Private Profiles without Managers

Private profiles cannot be adopted by regular members, for obvious reasons.

For the most part, private profiles cannot be orphaned. There are various contexts in which managers can change or be replaced. In all of them (?) we have protections against private profiles being orphaned. In the few contexts where an orphaned private profile is appropriate, WikiTree-1 is supposed to be set as the manager.

However, there are a lot of moving parts in all these systems. Some private profiles do get orphaned. Sometimes they're "legacy problems," i.e. very old profiles that were created or orphaned before various systems were in place. Sometimes it's an issue with the orphan/adoption system itself. We keep an independent database of orphans, which is updated by the other systems. There could be a lapse in this updating.

There should not be many of these. If there are, we should find the pattern -- find how they're being created -- and fix it.

As long as there aren't many we don't need to worry about them. We just need to remove them so they don't appear in Special:Adoptions.

The Solution

Periodically a team member should review Special:Adoptions and look for any private profiles. Under the normal view private profiles are not selectable. Therefore you need to use this special view for sysops:

The quickest way to handle these would be to just login as WikiTree-1 (, then go to and select-all, then adopt.

This should get all or most of the private orphans out of Special:Adoptions so regular members don't see them.

However, if you have time, it would be better to go through them individually and examine the circumstances. Each one requires consideration.

In some cases, the proper manager is not WikiTree-1. Sometimes there is a legitimate member who created the profile, or who is close family, but is somehow not set as the manager. They should be set as the manager.

In some cases, the profiles are total junk. If they don't contain any information about a real person, they should be deleted, not adopted.

In some cases, they may have a manager. For some reason they are in our orphans database when they're not orphans. It could be WikiTree-1 or it could be a regular member. In these cases, you can try to get the system to fix itself by making someone else the manager, then removing them (if they shouldn't be) and adding back the appropriate manager. When doing this sort of thing, you may want to be logged-in as WikiTree-1 so it's easier to explain to a member, if necessary, why you were in a private profile adding and removing managers.

Some cases will require Chris's attention.

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This page was last modified 12:27, 8 January 2021. This page has been accessed 288 times.