Clarify that The Family Tree is a Shared Public Tree and contains no Private Trees
I have served at the FamilySearch Library for the last 4 1/2 years; and do online consultations for Navigating FamilySearch. I am often asked by upset users who get Campaign emails with statements such as "we've identified the top contributors to your family tree!" which most people interpret as meaning they have an individual tree at FamilySearch.
This leads people to be upset when others have added or edited information incorrectly and, thinking they have their own tree, do not understand how FamilySearch can allow strangers to "ruin MY Tree." Most people do not realize they are contributing to a public, global, shared tree that can be edited by anyone with an account AND that FamilySearch does not verify information added or edited in the Family Tree.
I suggest changes to how people are introduced to the Family Tree:
Clearly inform everyone before they add anything to the Tree:
- It is a global shared public tree that can be edited by anyone with a FamilySearch account. (Perhaps users should have to check a box indicating they understand it is one public tree; anyone can add and edit information which may not be accurate.)
- FamilySearch provides tools to find records to document every name, date, place and relationship but does not verify the information in the Tree.
- Encourage every contributor to keep a personal documented tree on their home computer.
- Show a prominent statement on weekly campaigns that if there is an error in the campaign, it means there is an error in the Tree and they can correct the error and include documentation.