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Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 2:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
I would like to propose that to improve the accuracy on the online trees that Ancestry set up a system that would collect information and rate the accuracy of the trees.

One of the ways would be a popularity type vote ( the "like" on Facebook.) If the users found a tree that they found highly inaccurate, they would have a button where they could rated its accuracy. When a tree got low rating by a designated number of users the owner would be notified, and ask to either correct the tree or remove it. An alternative to removal, would be to place the tree in a new comic book section of Ancestry.

Using the same system a rating could be assigned to the tree. When someone tried to merge from that tree, the rating would appear. If the rating was very low the person downloading the tree would have to click to accept the data to continue the download. The rating data could be made to show in the Ancestry format of the tree page.

This would be in Ancestry own good. If things continue as they are now, it will come to a point where the reputation of Ancestry as a genealogical source will suffer, and they will start to loose business.

From what I am seeing on these forums the general opinion of most of Ancestry trees is highly negative, If unchecked this will eventually be even picked up by the newbie and they too will shun Ancestry also.

Re: Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 3:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
My opinion...
While the thought of having accuracy ratings on trees would be ideal, the reality of it accurately happening is about nonexistent, in my opinion.
A lot of those rating the trees would be those same people who believe everything they see in another tree and just click away... and if the tree goes back a lot of generations think it must be accurate.. If rating it, they would give it a high rating - not really concerned of accuracy, just because it has a lot of instant ancestors for them (no research on their part, and accepting information as true).
So, without limiting those able to rate a tree to highly experienced genealogists, I really don't think this idea would ever work in the sense that you intend it to.

Have to say though that I would truly enjoy rating some of those ridiculous trees with such a low rating it might fall off the bottom of the scale, lol.

Another thought is that I highly doubt ancestry would feed back any negative comments to their users... too much chance of losing a paying customer.

I really enjoyed the thought of creating a "comic book section" for trees.

I do agree ancestry's reputation is being damaged, not only by the bad trees, but also by numeous other issues addressed in various threads.

Re: Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 3:49PM GMT
Classification: Query
"One of the ways would be a popularity type vote ( the "like" on Facebook.) If the users found a tree that they found highly inaccurate, they would have a button where they could rated its accuracy."

How do you propose keeping the people who copied all that inaccurate information from "liking" it even though it's completely wrong?

Re: Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 3:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 31 Jan 2013 3:55PM GMT
"From what I am seeing on these forums the general opinion of most of Ancestry trees is highly negative..."

So what. Trees reflect the owner's level of interest. It should surprise no one that a majority of clients who dabble in the hobby are less than fastidious in their facts and documentation.

ACOM is not the genealogical police and to suggest that they assume such a function is, in IMHO, patently absurd.

Re: Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 4:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
Voting has nothing to do with accuracy in genealogy. Since by far the most numerous tree-viewers are persons who do no evidentiary research but think they are doing genealogical research by copying from trees, how could there be any genealogical-accuracy content in most votes? Since many trees have scores of thousands of identities in them (whether or not such persons ever existed), how can a vote based on viewing a small part have any value whatever?

"If things continue as they are now, it will come to a point where the reputation of Ancestry as a genealogical source will suffer, and they will start to loose business.
From what I am seeing on these forums the general opinion of most of Ancestry trees is highly negative, If unchecked this will eventually be even picked up by the newbie and they too will shun Ancestry also."

While ancestry.com speciously markets trees as research tools, trees are opinions of their submitters that usually are based on no evidence at all. In Ancestry's case there is also the gigantic debacle it created, the OneWorldTree, compiled in a bizarre way from parts of highly erroneous trees that were on its site at the time. No internet tree-hosting site can attest any degree of accuracy of any on-site tree. Thus "newbies" should have no confidence in what is in trees but should do their own research, step by step.

Ancestry.com has value in the non-tree databases available to subscribers.

No one should confuse the two sets of databases with each other.

Re: Accuracy Index of Ancestry Trees.

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 4:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
Keith,

The general opinion among the majority of experienced researchers is that most family trees on ALL online sites are faulty in the extreme.

It is simply the nature of the beast. Most online sites make it too easy to copy what is already there and re-distribute it yet again.

The only *real* solution is to do away with all online trees altogether. Such a move would, over time, improve genealogy tremendously - especially if at the same time they encourage use of message boards and mailing lists to collaborattion among researchers. This would deal a mortal blow to the namegathering clickologists.

Welcome to Andyworld...

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 4:23PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 31 Jan 2013 4:37PM GMT
"The only *real* solution is to do away with all online trees altogether."

Good Lord. And now we transition from the truly absurd into Andyworld, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average (with appropriate credit to Garrison Keeler).

Re: Welcome to Andyworld...

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 6:46PM GMT
Classification: Query
I think what would happen, if a "vote" system was equated with "accuracy," is that many people would ignore the one correct tree, if there were 10 incorrect ones that got affirmative votes - this would basically have the reverse effect from what is sought, which is that it would label the correct one as "inaccurate" in the minds of people who saw that it did not get "the vote."

Re: Welcome to Andyworld...

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 6:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
Would that be all bad then?

'Real' researchers could then look at the list of most unpopular trees and actually have a chance of getting info!

;)

Re: Welcome to Andyworld...

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 10:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
What is a "real" researcher, Andy? Is that anything like a real "genealogist"?

Those who self-arrogate labels are ... well ... arrogant.
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