More warnings before changes are made or profiles merged?
I love that some of the things that have been discussed here have been added to the new person page. I like the ability to write a note & pin it above the profile. I like the idea that the notes are visible on the 'Details' page. I like the ability to write a life history and have it appear on the 'About' page. Anything that can be done to inform people before they make changes is great.
But I'm still seeing some of the same issues I was seeing before these upgrades.
Just as an example, I have two David Rosses. One was born 14 Sep 1644 and died 17 Apr 1711, exact dates known. He has a distant cousin David Ross who was born about 1646 and died in 1610, exact dates not known.
People will come to the profile of the second David and change his birth & death dates to those of the first David. Next thing you know, the first David has been merged with the second David. And the reason given is "All vital information and relationships match. ID numbers: G4L8-YNX and L6P1-8KM." Or sometimes, just "Same person". Which they do appear to be once someone changes the second to have the first's birth & death date.
Even when there are warnings at the top of both of these people that say, "Important research has been done on this person. Please read these alert notes before merging." And the first line of the note is something like "This profile is David Ross 13th of Balnagown. His birth & death years are very close to those of his distant cousin David Ross of Balblair. These men are not the same person." I have still seen people edited to be someone they're not and then merged with the person they were turned into.
The trick seems to be the prevention of changing the birth & death dates in the first place. Is there a way to put a warning in the actual 'edit' box and then repeat these warnings very clearly right next to the birth & death dates when people attempt to merge?
It could just say... Birth date not 14 Sep 1644. Or something like that?
What I would really like to have is the ability to lock something. Like, if I have adequate evidence attached, or a consensus of several other people, I could lock these dates so that they can't be changed. Or they can only be changed if someone provides enough evidence. It seems like that could get complicated and it's a lot more policing than this site is set up for, but I'm just so tired of correcting the same mistakes over & over again.
What I think we're battling is just people who are new to genealogy and/or new to working with these kinds of online trees. The mistakes I'm correcting are the same ones over & over again. They're the same ones I can find on thousands of trees on Ancestry. When you're new, it's easy to just believe what's there without knowing you have to double-check it. Then those trees are imported here.
How do we prevent those errors from being entered here and having to be corrected over & over & over again? How do we say to someone... we already know that this person's birthday is such & such. Sources are attached. Please don't change it unless you have other sources that actually support your change.