All 19th century relatives from Turkey automatically marked confidential
I see this is a common problem, but it's not clear to me what the solution is. I have a number of relatives who were born in Turkey who have all over the course of the last year become marked confidential, despite the fact that none of them have participated in any 'controversial' activities or achieved any notoriety, let alone political sensitivity. Further, all of those relatives were born before 1900, and all that I can identify emigrated to the US or elsewhere before 1920. I simply can't see any case to make that this is 'dangerous' information, beyond what frankly feels like a slightly racist assumption that Middle Eastern people are somehow automatically more controversial than Europeans.
Is there a way to resolve this? I asked once when I noticed the first few pages becoming confidential, and only got a boilerplate answer that the records might be risky. I had really been hoping that by having a public tree, members of my extended family might be able to get in touch.
It would be nice to get an answer from someone at FamilySearch: just whom do they believe themselves to be protecting, and from what exactly?
(Or, to phrase it more along the lines of what I keep thinking: What on God's green Earth do they believe could happen based on these profiles?)1
If you look at the history of genealogical records you will see that sometimes politics plays a bigger role than you might ever suspect. Please take the following as pure speculation, but based on past history there may be a concern that FamilySearch and it users could lose access to huge amounts of genealogical data if the wrong people get offended. For prior examples, see: https://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/ldsagree.html and https://catholicgene.wordpress.com/2013/01/24/catholics-mormons-and-genealogy/
I really think part of this is an effort to not annoy a third major religion.0
I do take your point, Gordon, but here I am specifically talking about records of a Dutch-Greek family (Greek Orthodox) in 19th century Smyrna, none of whose descendants live in that country, or for that matter, any Muslim majority country. I could understand, somewhat, if the genealogy linked to any living or recently deceased individuals in those countries, but it doesn't—nor does it horizontally link to *any* families still living in those countries.
While I understand that FamilySearch likely doesn't have the resources to, by hand, determine which individuals are potentially a risk, I think the automated process could be more fine-tuned—e.g., not target individuals who have no descendants living in those countries. And I wish the process were less opaque (I've now discovered that one of my relatives born in Turkey was not flagged—although his wife was).0
The trouble with automatic screening is that it is practically impossible to be accurate and you have to err on the side of missing something that could be a major problem or flagging a bunch of things that are no problem as being a problem and needing to prove one by one there is not a problem.0
This issue has been discussed on this forum many times before, and it has something to do with Latter Day Saint ordinances and the personal safety of relatives and descendents of those who have received these ordinances. But since I'm not a Latter Day Saint and don't fully understand the issue, I'll let someone who is explain the matter more fully and accurately.0
There have been a number of attempts to explain the background to this issue (including the suggestions above) but without an employee response we are likely never to get to the true reason. Even then, many of us are likely to disagree with that reasoning - both the the point of nobody being able to hurt the dead, or the arguments over which countries should be included on any "sensitive" list.
As I mentioned in the previous post raised on this issue, there can be few places in recent history than Ireland where confidentiality might be an issue, but concentration appears to be mainly on Middle East countries.
A policy appears to have been adopted a few years back whereby FamilySearch employees (particularly managers) have been instructed to avoid participating in forums like Community. This is a real shame because there are certain subjects on which only employees can provide the "inside knowledge" that would prevent further speculation.
Moderators often play a useful role in escalating issues to "specialist teams", but this appears to be a subject in which they do not want any involvement!0
yeah, where is "Joe Marten" when you need him...smile. maybe a poor memory but "old forums" had a product person(s) drop in periodically with insight that always helped. Sometimes I might not like the answer but at least felt there was empathy towards my plight. (Not sure if I got the name right. my apologies if not.)
In the relative short time I've dropped back in on the new community to catch up for a bit, I would agree that some topics like this one just don't or can't be answered by the very helpful users and mods. It's not unlike other product forums with high user base with disparate wants/needs AND with maybe short staffed or stretched thin technology teams rapidly moving a product forward... or putting out fires. Without inside knowledge, speculation and guesswork.
speculation pile on. A google search to satisfy my own ignorance reflects maybe Gordon on to something with the "political" track...given the church (LDS) pulled teams in 2018 suggests they know more than I to protect living.... but to your point about age of data, I maybe wouldn't underestimate the uses of linked deceased family in the wrong hands. Some opining research web pieces suggest some religious/sect tracking and coding on a broad scale use in Turkey at some point....e.g. ethnic data mining of passed family to marginalize the linked living or prove whether the living had "switched". yeah, seems like a stretch.... but without actual "decision makers" dropping into forums/community ....maybe find your "workaround"...or move on to another branch in your tree until things settle down and record restrictions amended or lifted.0
If you haven't already done do, look at the (London based) Levantine Heritage website. http://levantineheritage.com
"The Levantine Heritage Foundation (LHF) promotes the research, preservation and education of the heritage, arts and culture of the communities of the Levant region encompassed by the former Ottoman Empire between the 17th and 20th centuries.
The peoples and communities who traded and settled in the area were diverse in origin and faiths, including Venetians, Genoese, Greeks, Turks, Persians, Armenians, Jews, French, Italians, British, many other Europeans and Americans".
It has a most extensive website, with many articles and photographs, some of which you need to locate through the Search function.0