New Idea: Including alive people (with no info)
I think it would be beneficial to show people who are living.
These living people do not need to be identified as male or female, do not need to have any vital stats to be listed or any other information to be displayed. Maybe just displayed as "unknown".
The reason is because if a researcher is adding alive people to the system, only they are allowed to view these people. If other researchers working on the same line, decided to add the same people, there is no way to know how many identical profiles are being made.
However, I can see that this will still be problematic because researchers could still confuse the "unknown" alive people with other researchers creating the same "unknown" people.
The need for multiple/duplicate profiles for living people is on purpose. This setup hides not just a living person's data, but the very fact that he or she exists. For example, if anyone besides me looks at my dad's profile, they'll see no spouse and no children. Ditto for his brother; the only difference is that my bachelor uncle has no spouse or children even in my private view -- but someone just trawling through the Tree would not be able to find out, based on what's on FamilySearch, whether either man had living family or descendants.
There is one "loophole" in FS's private-space setup: if cousins use "View My Relationship", then the existence of the "connecting" living people will be revealed -- but this only applies if both people have enabled the feature, and only if they're actually related.0
So, my concern is when a family member dies and someone updates this person`s vitals to being deceased, and other several researchers have each added different information (photos/documents/etc) to this person, how does all this different information merge into one person? I am assuming each researcher will have to manually merge their person to the same person but what if one of those researchers have also died and cannot merge their information, what happens then?
I recently had a researcher update my father's information to deceased (he is very much alive). They had to add a new child to my grandparents and add the information that he had died. I also have added my father`s information in my profile, so they were not able to see any information, and there were now two profiles of my father. So, i had to contact FS and ask them to remove the wrong information - a pain and something that I should not need to do. I believe if FS had the ability to provide the information that my grandparents add three children (with no vital information), that this problem could have been avoided and would avoid merging issues that will arise in the future.0
Yes, contacting FS and having them change someone who is marked deceased back to Living is "a pain and something that I should not need to do." Users here need to be more careful, do real research about people, and assume anyone under 110 is still alive until proven otherwise.
For the category of users who just blithely check deceased on most people they add to Family Tree if they seem too old, I doubt seeing a Living child with no other information would stop them from adding another child as deceased.
I wonder if FamilySearch support sends out a kindly but strongly worded suggestion that people be more careful whenever they have to change a "living" person to deceased? It's right there in the change log who made the error.
Regarding your concern that a living person may have multiple duplicates that may never all get marked deceased and properly merged after they die, I haven't seen anything definite from FamilySearch. I have seen suggestions from other users that they should periodically have a routine run that automatically marks anyone over 120 years old in Family Tree as deceased. But apparently there are potential problems with that sort of thing.0
When someone dies, the fate of the various private profiles and any documents associated with them is the same as the fate of anything online: either it gets updated, or it eventually gets lost. There's really nothing anyone can do about that.
I think it would just skirt the edges of a privacy breach to have an "other fact" like "has living relatives" (the opposite of the existing "never married" and "no children" attributes), and I am not convinced that the existence of such an attribute would prevent most people from adding profiles for those relatives. The conclusion would be ignored exactly the same way that people ignore the Collaborate tab and the Life Sketch. (I have added Notes, Discussions, and Life Sketch mentions about the Famous Relative's other two wives, who are both still living, last I checked, but this hasn't prevented them from getting profiles added about once a year by "helpful" completionists.)
Adding a profile using Source Linker sometimes requires a death fact reason statement (prompting many a snide remark about vampirism or immortality, especially when I just finished entering a birthdate in the 1700s), and I suppose a variant of that, triggered by a "has living relatives" attribute, may help prevent at least some people from ignoring it -- but I'm not very hopeful.0
Automated changes from "living" to "deceased" cannot work because of the possibility of typos: what if someone accidentally entered a 2002 birthdate as 1902 or even 1802? It's dead-easy to do, especially when you've just spent the past two hours entering dates in the 19th and 20th centuries.0
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
Great suggested enhancement.
Just in passing ...
You are not alone ...
And, I would humbly suggest, that this is NOT a NEW "Idea"/suggested enhancement ...
[ There has been many 'iterations', of such over the many years ... ]
Further to what has already been proffered ...
I (and, most of us) understand where you are coming from ...
And, I believe, that 'FamilySearch' is exploring, various options/avenues, regarding "Living" individuals/persons, in our "Private Spaces", in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch'.
That Said ...
It really does not matter, what is done to the "System"; regardless, some Users/Patrons, will make (ie. record) actual "Living" individuals/persons; as, "Deceased" - such is almost impossible to STOP (short of not allowing, the creation, of "Profiles', of "Living" individuals/persons, in the first place ... NOT really an acceptable option).
As a "Programmer" one said to me ...
[ And, NOT, from 'FamilySearch' ... ]
You CANNOT, make a System FOOLPROOF; as, fools, are so INGENIOUS ...
[ And, that is so true, there always seems to be, 'Work Arounds', to get around necessary constraints ... ]
As an aside ...
Of course ...
One can ONLY see "Deceased" individuals/persons, in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch'; except, with this 'rider', that one can ALSO only see "Living" individuals/persons, in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', that ONE created; as, they reside in one's "Private Spaces".
No other User/Patron, can 'see', ANY "Living" individuals/persons, that were created, by another User/Patron; as, they ONLY reside, in the "Private Spaces", of the User/Patron, who created them.
We CANNOT even 'see', the ACTUAL Record, in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', of our IMMEDIATE Family (eg. Spouse; Children; Parents; Siblings; ETC; Etc; etc), if they are "Living"; and, they have their own 'FamilySearch' Account.
Of course, one can create one's "Living" Family members; and, record them, in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch'; but, they will ONLY be seen by one:
▬ One cannot "Share" them with any other User/Patron.
▬ One cannot "Merge"/'Combine" them, with any other "Living" individuals/persons, residing in, the "Private Spaces", of another User//Patron.
There is CURRENTLY no mechanism, in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', for Users/Patrons, to "Share"; or, "give permission" to "Share", the "Living" individuals/persons, in their own "Private Spaces", with/between other/another User(s)/Patron(s).
There are a myriad, of "Privacy" Laws, within the many various, Countries; and, Unions, throughout the World - it is a 'nightmare' to negotiate.
"Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', is used in many, Countries; and. Unions, throughout the World; and, as such, must adhere, to the myriad of "Privacy" Laws, throughout the World.
Hence, "Privacy", is one of the reasons, that we cannot "Share" the "Living" individuals/persons, in our own "Private Spaces" - it is NOT the ONLY reason; but, certainly has a bearing on the matter.
Another factor is, that such, would have to be 'Coded'/'Programmed', into the Programme, that is "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch'.
'Yes', these "Living" individuals/persons, in "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch', WILL, in fact, in many (most) cases will be "Duplicated" - unfortunately, a necessary situation, that currently cannot be avoided.
I know that there are "Duplicates" of the "Living" ME - at least, one for my Wife; and, each of our Children, not to mention my other ("Living") extended Family members.
Here are some "Knowledge Articles" in 'FamilySearch' in regard to "Private Spaces" and "Living" individuals/persons:
Who can see my living relatives in Family Tree?
How does Family Tree protect the privacy of living people?
What Family Tree features are available in my private space?
Can my living relatives share a Family Tree private space to work together?
Can I transfer my Family Tree private space to another user?
'FamilySearch', has recently released, a number of (what one might call) "Options", to enable even BETTER "Collaboration", between Users/Patrons (than, already exists); and, especially, between, Family; and, Extended Family.
We have had, for a number of years:
(1) "Discussions" (ie. now part of the "Collaborate" 'Tab'); and,
(2) "User Messaging", in 'FamilySearch"; and,
(3) "Relationship Viewing", to enable Users/Patrons, to view any relationship, between them (if such exists)
Not to forget ...
"Notes" (ie. now part of the "Collaborate" 'Tab'); "Life Sketch"; "Reason Statements"; etc ...
[ Although, the problem/issue; being, that MANY Users/Patrons just either, miss; or, ignore such ... ]
We now have:
(1) "Family Groups", for "Sharing" the "Temple" Work; and, communicating, through "User Messaging"; and,
(2) Although, still in its infancy and "Testing" stage, "Connections", for even greater communicating
And, it has been suggested, by a User/Patron, that the "Family Groups", may STILL be in a 'staged' implementation; and, may (hopefully) be a 'Stepping Stone', for a form, of "Sharing", the "Living" individuals/persons, in our "Private Spaces" - that would be a long awaited and much wanted development.
Just my thoughts ...
We can but live in hope ...