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The Zero Date Loophole

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: gedcom unsourced dates
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Undated Profiles Countdown

As of 27 February 2022, at the current rate of improvement all Open profiles will have at least one date by about January 2034.[1]

Background

In 2020, WikiTree officially disallowed creation of profiles without dates. When creating a profile manually, one must enter either a birth or a death date, or set the 'still living' status. Unfortunately, the system (as of 3 Jan 2021) accepts 00-00-0000 as a valid date. Entering zeroes in the date fields bypasses the prohibition against undated profiles. Few people manually creating profiles exploit this loophole, but the GEDCOM import process pre-populates the date fields with zeroes and therefore never rejects an import for lack of dates. In addition, when connecting two profiles without parents as siblings, the system creates an empty 'father' profile with the siblings' shared surname, Unknown first name, and no dates or other information. Internally, WikiTree stores this profile's dates as zeroes.

This page tracks total profiles with the {{Unsourced}} template and no birth date, allowed by the Zero Date Loophole. You can find these profiles by choosing 'Unsourced Profiles' from the drop down 'Find' menu, then select 'undefined' to the right of 'Search in category by century.' This results in a search of the latest weekly Data Doctors report for the text 'Unsourced_Profiles 0cen.' Set the Max Profiles parameter high enough to capture all matching profiles.

Although this search only returns profiles without a birth date, most of them also lack a date of death and birth and death locations. This makes resolving the Unsourced condition especially challenging. The oldest profiles in the set were created in 2009, and the newest were created the week of the current report.

This issue was discussed here on G2G. On 23 Mar 2021, a comment stated the bug 'should be fixed now.' New undated profiles created after that date all seem to be new members' own profiles.


Report Date Unsourced No DoB Undated Undated Open
13 Dec 2020 24,677
20 Dec 2020 24,697
27 Dec 2020 24,696
3 Jan 2021 24,747
10 Jan 2021 24,876
17 Jan 2021 25,036
24 Jan 2021 25,075 1,514,155 503,013
31 Jan 2021 25,090 1,514,832 502,414
7 Feb 2021 25,161 1,513,997 502,102
14 Feb 2021 25,374 1,515,042 501,680
21 Feb 2021 25,631 1,515,997 501,426
28 Feb 2021 25,631 1,516,799 501,515
7 Mar 2021 25,647 1,516,193 500,526
14 Mar 2021 25,741 1,517,196 500,413
21 Mar 2021 25,808 1,518,338 500,144
23 Mar 2021 ----- Issue declared fixed. -----
28 Mar 2021 25,791 1,518,653 498,992
4 Apr 2021 25,723 1,518,034 498,082
11 Apr 2021 25,667 1,517,334 496,728
18 Apr 2021 25,608 1,516,766 495,338
25 Apr 2021 25,408 1,512,073 490,112
2 May 2021 25,678 1,510,850 490,435
9 May 2021 25,680 1,509,865 489,249
16 May 2021 25,671 1,509,387 488,158
23 May 2021 25,636 1,508,865 486,846
30 May 2021 25,734 1,507,504 485,769
6 Jun 2021 25,727 1,507,216 484,583
13 Jun 2021 25,660 1,506,989 483,966
20 Jun 2021 25,637 1,507,071 483,126
27 Jun 2021 25,564 1,507,205 482,020
4 Jul 2021 25,524 1,506,635 481,681
11 Jul 2021 25,483 1,506,883 481,163
18 Jul 2021 25,461 1,506,798 480,744
25 Jul 2021 25,419 1,506,856 479,780
1 Aug 2021 25,443 1,506,551 479,391
8 Aug 2021 25,464 1,506,527 478,345
15 Aug 2021 25,547 1,506,870 477,554
22 Aug 2021 25,616 1,506,098 476,615
29 Aug 2021 25,628 1,505,619 475,521
5 Sep 2021 25,695 1,505,911 474,602
12 Sep 2021 25,713 1,506,582 474,061
19 Sep 2021 25,735 1,507,167 475,591
26 Sep 2021 25,732 1,507,690 474,852
3 Oct 2021 25,673 1,506,578 473,261
10 Oct 2021 25,641 1,505,102 471,784
17 Oct 2021 25,647 1,505,178 470,891
24 Oct 2021 25,802 1,505,030 470,258
31 Oct 2021 1,504,419 469,206
7 Nov 2021 1,503,883 468,581
14 Nov 2021 1,504,276 467,671
21 Nov 2021 1,504,714 467,069
28 Nov 2021 1,505,341 466,345
5 Dec 2021 1,505,325 465,616
12 Dec 2021 1,505,459 464,845
19 Dec 2021 1,505,916 464,420
26 Dec 2021 1,506,372 463,913
2 Jan 2022 1,506,714 463,423
9 Jan 2022 1,507,323 463,386
16 Jan 2022 1,508,059 462,797
23 Jan 2022 1,508,167 461,656
30 Jan 2022 1,508,468 464,219
1 Feb 2022 per Aleš, increase due to mass
opening of Unlisted undated profiles
6 Feb 2022 1,508,833 464,508
13 Feb 2022 1,509,426 464,440
20 Feb 2022 1,510,200 464,247
27 Feb 2022 1,510,592 464,516
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  1. To estimate the end date, I fit a straight line to the "Undated Open" data from 21 March 2021 to the present, then extrapolated the trend to predict when it would reach zero. Please note the qualifier "at the current rate of improvement." There is no reason to assume a constant rate of decline over the next decade. This is a very crude, and probably very optimistic, estimate.

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