Please stop letting people just change entries. Please
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
Karen Holland said: I really wish people could not just alter an entry. A few times I have had someone do a "correction" that has been very incorrect. It is one of the most frustrating parts of this site. I am grateful it is here. But, when people can change anything it is a headache.
David Newton said: Erm no. The whole point of the site is that it is open edit. There are arguments for making new users jump through a few hoops before completely opening things up to them, but what you are asking for will never happen.0
Tom Huber said: Welcome to the community support forum for FamilySearch. FamilySearch personnel read every discussion thread and may or may not respond as their time permits. We all share an active interest in using the resources of this site and as users, we have various levels of knowledge and experience and do our best to help each other with concerns, issues, and/or questions.
I don't think any of us would disagree that some changes made are not good ones and sometimes, it can take a lot of work to "fix" problems created by those changes.
While there is no solution that is 100% effective (and locking a record against changes is not an answer), the following is what I've found to be surprisingly effective.
Those who make changes usually believe they are related to the person for which they are making changes. Their changes may be valid, invalid, or contain errors and may lack support from primary and secondary source material. Or the changes may be based on misinformation, or information that was copied from an unreliable source.
The desire to belong to an elite group of people, such as Mayflower Descendants, the Daughters of the American Revolution, or the Sons of the American Revolution has likewise produced some inventive genealogies.
Not all participants who add to and make changes to existing material have the same level of knowledge and experience. Novices or Newbies often try their best to be useful, but they can and will make mistakes (even us old-timers can make mistakes), some of which are going to cause concern. Others are convinced that their information is factual, despite not having primary or secondary sources that validate their information.
While this can be frustrating, remember that everyone has been at one time or another in their lives, or is now, a novice or newbie. I remember what it was like for me, now over fifty years ago.
To minimize the changes others make to the tree, there are several things that I have found to be largely effective, given the nature that many inappropriate changes are being made by people who are new to FamilySearch FamilyTree, or do not work with the tree on any kind of regular basis.
1. I make sure every deceased person I work with in the tree is fully sourced with citations that can be used to locate original records, not only with sources from FamilySearch Historical Records, but also from other sites as well as material that may not be available online. I also add whatever stories exist about that person and provide sources for those stories. The more information I can include, the less likely someone will come along and make changes.
I make sure that every conclusion (fact) that is in a person's record actually applies to that person and I have included my reasoning why that conclusion is the right one. There is no room for speculation, which is not fact. If I am unsure about some aspect of a person's life, I put that information on the person's page in notes, discussions, or even as a story, especially if an old well-worn family tradition is involved.
2. Every time someone makes a change or merge that I feel is incorrect, I use the FamilySearch message system to leave them a kindly written message that contains the following elements:
-- Thanks for their interest in making the person's record as accurate as possible.
-- The person or family involved and my relationship.
-- My thoughts and sources with respect to the changes they made.
-- The corrections I made to their incorrect changes and why I did it.
-- Request that before they make changes that they study the record, including the sources that are attached, any notes and stories that may be included in memories.
-- Remind them (if they have not provided a source or a reason) that sources are crucial to … [truncated]0