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Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 9:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jan 2013 2:44PM GMT
I am surprised that ancestry doesn't want to correct information in individual trees when obvious glowing errors are found. In the past 6 months it seems more and more people incorrectly take information from my public trees and we have had to make all our tree's private. Even if you open a tree to someone else and invite them. Your information is open to the public and can be incorrectly copied to another tree from their open public tree. Ancestry needs some security changes drastically.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 9:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jan 2013 2:45PM GMT
Welcome to the Wikipedia version of genealogy - and it has the same problems, for the same reasons (do you cringe when you hear technobabble like "crowdsourcing," which implies that if enough people recite the same thing, it must be true?)

Unfortunately, your observations are the same thoughts many of us have had, but there is no practical way that the type of quality control you would like to see could actually be put in place. Among other things, the blatantly wrong trees start to take on a life of their own, if enough of the clickologists stumbled on them. There are a few minor reality checks in place in the system (for instance, if entering a person "from scratch," you will be alerted if the mother's date of birth would make her three years old - or already dead - when the "child" was born). But amazingly, there is no such reality check when people click and merge composite profiles they have found - so the bizarre errors get perpetuated over and over. And if your tree is the outlier (but it's correct), you certainly don't want some Ancestry person to be able to override the correct information in your tree in favor of what "the majority" has in their trees (even though they all just copied from each other).

Really, there is nothing you can do except just do you own thing (sorry, I grew up in the '70s). Some people have gone private out of frustration over these issues, and some keep slogging on and hoping that the actual facts will overtake the weird fiction - no way to know, at this point! But if it helps at all, you certainly aren't alone.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 12:02PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jan 2013 2:46PM GMT
I did wonder if it would be better if people could not merge information from other trees. If they had to enter each piece of information for themselves, at least it would slow them down a bit and they might actually read the rubbish they were adding to their trees and realise some of their mistakes. Well, maybe...

However, no doubt that might put some people off Ancestry and lose them custom.

How about if Ancestry can detect more than 100 duplicate individuals on your tree then it is automatically set to private until you sort it out?

I do so wish something could be done to improve the situation.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees - "Crowdsourcing"

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 1:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jan 2013 2:46PM GMT
"...do you cringe when you hear technobabble like "crowdsourcing," which implies that if enough people recite the same thing, it must be true?"

Thanks for that. I've not seen a better descriptive for both junkology and Wikipedia...and perhaps contemporary advocacy journalism as well.

Keep in mind though, the subscription revenues from junkologists probably pay a good percentage of the freight here. If junkology floats their personal genealogical boat, it's their own loss...and I very much appreciate their financial contribution to sustaining this terrific ACOM experience.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 1:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 21 Jan 2013 2:45PM GMT
"I am surprised that ancestry doesn't want to correct information in individual trees..."

A rather amazing assertion as it's not their business. Their business is to provide an exceptional medium in which any individual is free to utilize it as they see fit. Necessary to that concept is the freedom to be wrong.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 6:19PM GMT
Classification: Query
"I did wonder if it would be better if people could not merge information from other trees."

Even if copying from other Ancestry.com public trees were made impossible or difficult, the same old junk would remain and material such as copied GEDCOMs from elsewhere could still be uploaded. This internet tree error rate has existed for a couple of decades, and will continue as long as there are places to put such material.

Continuing efforts to demonstrate and teach how to do actual research, as well as how to draw conclusions from evidence, will have an impact on those willing to learn. But the majority, as in most human endeavor, will not be willing to put forth more effort than required to meet whatever the standard of their objective may be.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 8:01PM GMT
Classification: Query
It would be nice if we could block certain individuals from our family trees just as we can block them from sending us messages. Some people are repeat offenders at copying things from trees and haphazardly adding them to people in their tree with incorrect names and other info. It's an affront to those who DO take accuracy seriously. (or as accurate as humanly possible)

Maybe that is part of blocking them in the email, but I could not find anything in the help section that this is the case.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 10:29PM GMT
Classification: Query
No, "blocking" refers only to preventing the person sending you a private message through the site. There is no way to "block" someone from copying things found in a public tree, and misusing them.

Of course, it's entirely possible that they found the materials in another tree that got them from yours, so especially not feasible to do "third generation" blocking - and there is no way to know for sure whether the document/photo was copied directly from your tree, because even if copied from another tree (which got it from yours) you will receive a notice that something was copied "from your tree" (at least, you will if the system is working correctly - but that's a subject that has been discussed in other threads, which observe that there seems to be a glitch in the Family Tree Maker sync function, and it sometimes removes the original poster's information from photos and documents).

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 11:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
that's what I thought blocking was.

I did catch an individual lifting things from my tree within minutes of my posting it. Said individual has the family line completely messed up, continued to mess it up despite plain evidence clearly indicating otherwise.

I emailed said individual with clarification after more than incidents within 2 days, the material was corrected, and their response did confirm that my material was lifted.

I've noticed the message that comes up when an object is attached to someone else's tree along with whoever originally submitted it.

Sharing information is a wonderful thing, and I don't mind, whether I'm 'credited' or not-but for someone to just toss the information around and deliberately neglect to verify they attached it to the correct person is uncalled for.

A minimum of effort in most cases results in making and tracing family history better/easier for everyone.

Re: Inaccuracy in Ancestry individual trees

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 11:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
Well, at least you can take heart that corrections were made when you pointed out the actual facts - many of us have had the experience of telling someone they got things wrong (sometimes even about ancestors we knew) and being either ignored, or (in the case of someone who had my grandmother's brother married to a totally wrong woman) being told that it's their tree and they can do whatever they want. (Most likely, this person still has poor Uncle Mac married to someone he never heard of, rather than his actual wife of 50 years!)
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