Privacy Rules Review
The FamilySearch platform as currently designed harbours one serious shortfall. It caters for those members who are content to publish their family trees for all other members to see, but hide their identity behind a cloak of privacy. There does not appear to be a facility for their trees to be accessed to share, edit, amend, add to or, more importantly, correct, and neither can the member be contacted for the resolve of any issues. They can publish whatever they like without fear of recourse or any regard for the consequences. But family trees do not exist in splendid isolation so false and/or misleading information in one tree can adversely impact a person’s heritage in another which may border on the libellous.
It is recommended that the publication of family trees be conditional that members’ identities also be accessible for sharing. Failure to agree should render a member ineligible to use this facility or else, should they have already published, have their trees removed from the site.
If members intend to build their own trees privately using the FamilySearch’s built-in program, then such trees should be private and inaccessible to members, as indeed home based trees are inaccessible. Members at the time of application should have the option to agree to either publish and share or to remain totally private, on the understanding that only members who agree to share would have access to another member’s family tree. As it now stands, members who elect to claim privacy enjoy unrestricted access to other members’ trees whilst their unsubstantiated trees remain inaccessible.
Um, the Family Tree on FamilySearch is a single, collaborative tree where anyone can edit nearly anything. It also has full change tracking that includes the user who made each change, and an internal messaging system for contacting other contributors.
Are you perhaps talking about the Genealogies section, where people can upload their (static) genealogy files for archiving and public reference?
Or are you perhaps getting confused by the "private space" concept that FamilySearch uses for protecting the privacy of living people?3
If I wrote a book, and used an alias, then you would not be able to edit my book. But I would be happy to share it with you. Maybe I don't want my name to be known (I'm living) or to be contacted (I'm busy) or I've moved on to other hobbies. Maybe I'm dead.
But you should be grateful to know what I thought to be correct at the time of publishing. Then you can adjust your family tree accordingly.
Some people wish to remain private, forcing them to be public, may have them not share their tree at all.
We are all learning as we are going, we do our best, our mistakes are not done to frustrate you.
Never trust another person research, always go to as many original sources as possible.
You seem to want to hide the entire tree if there is one mistake that you can't correct.
And maybe just maybe it is your research that is incorrect not theirs.
Our family trees are all a work in process.1
Your comments are appreciated.
The problem exists in the Genealogies section, where people upload their (static) genealogy files for archiving and public reference.
For archiving I can understand if they don't own a computer, but for public reference in a completely private environment is difficult to fathom. A member has altered the family name of one of my direct ancestors by way of a concocted birth and marriage scenario based on a gut feeling and uploaded it to a public arena. In effect, he's stating that I'm not who I claim to be, so surely I should have an opportunity to put the matter to rights - extremely difficult when the member can't be contacted. As for my research being in question, apart from all else, I very much doubt that a family researcher would merely pass over any possible change to their heritage advocated by someone who is not directly affected. My direct line goes back to 1140 and although still being developed, it doesn't need any adjustments that I'm aware of - certainly not a change of family name.
Sure, never trust another person's research and don't believe everything you read, but not everyone adheres to such sound advice. For some, what they read is gospel. In the genealogy discipline, FamilySearch is a valuable source so if the concoction referred to above is taken up by only one member, the damage has been done.
In my opinion, whether it be for archiving or for public reference, the member responsible for the repository should be accessible.0
The internal messaging system extends to Genealogies.
There may be some very old files imported from preceding systems that have lost their submitter access, but for current uploads, the contributor can be contacted.2