Please set up a mechanism to deal with stuff like "Donald Duck"
Profile GW71-39S is for "Mr Donald Duck". Yes, there are real people named Donald Duck. But this one's parents are Mr & Mrs Yogi Bear....
The most charitable assumption is that someone is using these for training - in which case someone in FS needs to tell them about the Beta Site.
If it's not for training - shouldn't there be a mechanism for reporting and deleting these sort of profiles? Moderators? FS Support? I really don't care how but something needs to be done before we all get accused of idiocy.
... and the profile in question now says "This person does not exist, has been removed, or is restricted in FamilySearch".
So the FS team has (a) read this post (good!) and (b) deleted or otherwise terminated the profile (even better!)
My plea therefore would be to make it clear to users of FS FamilyTree that fictional entities such as Donald Duck, etc, should not be entered into FamilyTree and that the rest of us should use the Report Abuse icon to report such nonsense.
From my personal point of view, I had got the distinct impression that Report Abuse should only be used for legal / libellous / racist / otherwise unacceptable conduct and that it didn't cover genealogical idiocies. I shall certainly use the R-A link in future if I come across any more cartoon characters or other fictional entities.
Aside from your post ...
You posted this on 1st December ...
And, yet, 'FamilySearch' responded to your post, the Day BEFORE, 30th November ...
You have to love the 'Time Zones' ...
Of course this raises another, rather more awkward question: what to do about fictional people like Adam and Eve? Regardless of religious matters and convictions, from a genealogical point of view they and other Biblical characters are just as fictional as Donald Duck et al. So should Adam and Eve et al be reported using the abuse feature? Logically according to the reply they should indeed.0
I, too, am very interested to read the "FamilySearch Response" and assume this is a complete change in "policy" to that we have been advised previously.
I have reported a number of these in the past, individually and generally. In general terms, I was concerned about a branch containing mythical, Nordic kings and queens. Once I established what a complete nonsense this was, I took the matter in my own hands and removed relationships, so certain users could no longer claim descent through King Frosti, etc.
I just noticed a Minnie Mouse is still around (another ID had her married to Mighty Mouse, if I remember rightly). This one has ID L22X-RR8 and, interestingly, a regular contributor (FS employee?) to Communities is credited with having made various changes to her profile. (Well, at least he seems to have removed a "Disney World" birth.) The other user's comments / involvement are a bit baffling, though.
It would truly be exciting news if it were to be confirmed FamilySearch is now providing resources to undo some of the serious damage being made to Family Tree by irresponsible users. Who knows, maybe one day this might also extend to sanctions being taken against those who are totally uncommitted to the project.0
I just found this subject is discussed in some detail at https://community.familysearch.org/s/group/0F93A000000LfVKSA0/british-isles-family-history-research. Post raised by AvanWatts AvanWatts on 22 November 2020 at 0945 pm.0
"what to do about fictional people like Adam and Eve..."
In fact, there's a continuum of fictionality(?) and it's not always clear in Wikipedia etc, where on the spectrum a person lies. E.g., what does "legendary" mean? "The legendary King Arthur" and "The legendary Stanley Matthews" use the l-word in a different way. (He was a "soccer" player, by the way!)
Some characters are clearly a mix of fact and fiction, sitting part way down that spectrum.
Some like the pre-1066 (male-line) ancestors of Robert the Bruce were once accepted as historical figures but now are regarded as dubious. Though whether it's the people or their relationships - or both - that's debatable, I don't know.
Anyway - I wish these guys luck!0
Returning to the item at https://community.familysearch.org/s/group/0F93A000000LfVKSA0/british-isles-family-history-research I noticed another user had rather more trouble than Adrian in convincing someone at FamilySearch that this indeed was "abuse". If you read comments by Pamela Sullivan, you will see there are IDs for The Devil (L5TZ-16T) and Nono Donald Trump (LYFS-G42) - inputs made 2016 & 2019, respectively.
Perhaps the person who wrote under the heading "FamilySearch Response" might like to take note and elevate this issue to senior managers responsible for the administration of the Help section AND of Family Tree.
The present situation is that of total inconsistency and makes FamilySearch subject to ridicule for its lax and inconsistent attitudes towards such (dare I use the expression) - ABUSE.0
Re "rather more trouble than Adrian in convincing someone at FamilySearch that this indeed was 'abuse'."
Just to be clear, I haven't actually reported any abuse through that mechanism, I'm only passing on what I was told. Donald Duck was clearly picked up (and kicked out!) by someone of discernment in FS reading this thread.
I did actually try to use the Report Abuse facility to get Father Christmas' profile removed but the report wouldn't transmit, it just sat there with a spinning wheel or whatever - whether that's because I cited this thread with a URL, I've no idea.0
Sorry if I misunderstood your actions, Adrian.
As expected, there appear to be plenty of these spoof entries on Family Tree, examples (taking me just two minutes to find) including an Elvis Presley married to Lucille Ball, and a Father Christmas who lived in Scotland in the 1700s.
In fairness, a Mary Poppins did seem to be genuine and an individual carrying what (in England) would be a rather obscene name also seemed quite plausible when placed in a German setting.
However, I have to dispute Joe Martel's claim (some time ago, on GetSat) that these instances are being picked-up. I guess the same happens at Ancestry and other sites, but if we (everyday users) can find them so easily, I don't think it would take up too much of FamilySearch's resources to create a program that would help eliminate at least the "obvious" ones - like "The Devil", Donald Trumps and cartoon characters.0
"I guess the same happens at Ancestry and other sites"
Yes and no, I suspect. If I create a family tree on Ancestry of the Looney Tunes characters, all that happens is I create what is recognised to be my Looney tree. No-one is at risk. (Well, unless you happen to have a genuine relative named Elmer Fudd and you suddenly think that you've stumbled across a whole back-story of his that you never knew about...)
The stakes are raised on FS (and any other single world tree) because it is no longer clear that these profiles are in your own area. Because they're not - they're in everyone's. And because FS hopes to be the Story of Everyone, every obviously fictional character mocks that ideal. (Lots of "people", as I've said, teeter on the brink of fictionality.)
There's a double raising of stakes as well that applies to FS but not to any of the other single world trees - and that's the religious aspect. I repeat that I'm not FS so have no idea if I'm talking nonsense or not, but what are the possibilities of LDS ordinances being started on fictional characters? Your problem, guys, not mine, but with an auditting / risk hat on, I need to ask whether you have a problem...
And even if the Church has mechanisms in place to catch the obviously fictional, I'm sure that someone from outside would just love to play with a story of the Mormon Church carrying out its ordinances on "The Devil". Even if everyone was far too sensible to actually allow that to happen.1
The FSFT is a common resource shared between everyone. Just the same as public streets, buildings, parks, and other common facilities. It just seems to me that people who make these personal "clever" creations in the shared tree are exhibiting the same mental attitudes of the people who paint graffiti on walls, carve their initials into park trees, throw trash into the streets, and gouge up the insides of public toilet stalls.
It's not their personal property. But somehow because they can deface these things in what they think is a "clever" way normally without being caught, it is considered a worthwhile activity and "contribution" to the system (even though it forces many others to have to constantly clean up after them).
We all know where impulses to do willful and useless destruction comes from. I personally would like to see policing on these types of things maybe enforced a bit better. But the Lord may have other ways that he prefers to deal with those types of things. At the moment it is all in the hands of FS. So we report them as we find them and FS decides on a case by case basis on what to do.0
To illustrate the "couldn't care less" attitude of FamilySearch over this issue, I raised a Support case concerning the continued existence of an ID for "The Devil".
Surprise, surprise, I received the standard "copy and paste" reply that this does not constitute abuse. I replied as follows:
What a disappointing response!
Accepting this is not "abuse", I would have still thought the issue would have at least (have been) passed to another department for attention. A "copy and paste" reply is hardly appropriate, given only FamilySearch can delete such entries and this particular one can only do damage to the integrity of Family Tree. I would again request this matter is treated with the utmost seriousness, as the current inclusion of this ID in Family Tree is, quite frankly, a shame on the organisation.
Perhaps the "FamilySearch Response" comment towards the top of this topic should now be withdrawn, as this is clearly NOT the action users should take when confronted with this type of issue.0
After my criticisms of "FamilySearch's" apparent attitude towards this matter, I thought I should provide an update. I just received a further response to my second message to Support (via email):
"Dear Paul Wrightson,
Thank you for your prompt reply regarding your Report Abuse for The Devil L5TZ-16T case, and the seriousness with which you take this issue.
We are going to take care of this matter.
We do note that you say you are aware of other fake names, which you have discovered. We would appreciate if you could send them to us, including their ID numbers. We do not have the capacity to search for and identify fake names. We need our contributors help and assistance with this...
If you have different questions or concerns, please contact us directly by phone or chat. Click <https://www.familysearch.org/help> for details.
FamilySearch Data Administration "0
Snap... I had a similar response earlier today, saying (amongst other things):
Thank you for contacting the FamilySearch support team regarding your Report Abuse for The Devil L5TZ-16T request.
We thank you also, for your concern in this matter and can advise that owing to others already requesting this record be removed, we are in the process of doing so.
Oh good. And your response, Paul, promises a more sensible attitude. "Lucifer" is still around but I doubt there's many people can deal with him.0
Unfortunately, the record for Mr. The Devil still exists even though it has been seven months since your request. When looking at the records for him and his wife, I saw that the same user had created both on Oct 6, 2016, has not been back to make any changes to the records since, and no one else has ever touched them. I don't know if it will do any good, but I did go ahead and send the person who created them this message:
The profiles you created for this man and his wife on October 6, 2016, were found by others and posted about in FamilySearch's Community discussion boards with concern that such degrades the database for all of us.
Please remember that Family Tree is a universal, wiki-style tree that seeks to contain the best, most accurate and complete information of all of the human family. Adding random information defeats this purpose.
Since no one has touched this information other than you, you can still delete these two profiles. Please do so and in that way help fulfill the goal all of us users have of having the best information possible in Family Tree.
Being personally responsible for what we submit, and knowing that each contributor can be identified as we go to individuals details for a record makes it more important than ever to provide names and PIDs of any fraudulent records you find as you use the Report Abuse link on any details page to report the problem.
Of special interest are the sections titled Right to Submit and Code of Conduct.
Leadership at FamilySearch takes the use of the Family Tree software seriously, and with the proper details about records of concern, they can find contributors and work with them to be sure they understand and will abide by the rules. This improves the quality of the FamilySearch Family Tree which we share with all other users.0
I have brought this same issue up periodically over the years - and there indeed are some controls in place
but with millions of users around the world and billions of family tree records
and millions of "fictional characters" that could be used . . .
I just dont see this issue going away totally . . .
and one should also realize that there are actually real people with names like Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse and more . . .
Yes - FS has often removed fictional characters (I know first hand) - especially when someone kind of points out that it could be a prety funny <not really> Public relations issue
but in reality I dont see it ever going away totally.0
I see your profile says you deal with "Escalation". Perhaps you would be so kind as to escalate this issue, as reporting it here and elsewhere has not had any effect.
I am surprised members of the LDS Church do not find having the Devil (and his wife) in Family Tree to be offensive. Ostensibly amusing, but making a mockery of the whole ethos of the project.1
Its not that we dont mind - we very much DO mind - - - but if someone doesnt go and look - they dont know its there
and even if support is made aware - its only a few that can actually delete the record - and sometimes it just doesnt get forwarded to the right people - because its a strange thing that even many support people dont know how to respond to .
Of course we care - - - but you delete one today - and you have 10 tomorrow . . .
its a never ending struggle
I have reported it various times over the years - and it has been removed . . . WE DO CARE
but at any point in time - you will surely find a few offenders.0
another thing to keep in mind is that various parts of the administrative portions of FS are currently in flux as to how they operate. Among those I believe is how ABUSE is reported and resolved.
Please bear with us as these administrative support procedures are ironed out.
Even various of the support staff are still figuring it out.0
So . . . if in the current Family Tree File - you find any fictional characters - -
report them to me & I will make a list and then make sure it gets reported to the correct people that will take action.
BUT note there are various legitimate people in FS who have names that match fictional characters . . . .0
@Paul W, thank you for recognizing my role as a moderator. Please note the personal message I have sent to you. While another guest has offered to work on your behalf, please be aware that only those with moderation, administrative and escalation rights can actually get your concerns to the specialty team that can review the PIDs for any records you are concerned about. For this reason, you may reply directly to the personal message you received if you choose not to just report abuse using the instructions in the following knowledge article which is found in our Help Center.0
Adrian & Paul
I would humbly suggest, that this is the more appropriate, "Knowledge Article" in 'FamilySearch':
How do I report changes or problems made by other contributors?
And, if it is 'blatant'; and/or, when "Collaboration" fails, in particular, the last sentence:
Where is states:
If you have questions regarding inadvertent, suspicious or potentially malicious errors in records that you are unable to resolve per the instructions above, contact FamilySearch Support.
Such is what one QUOTES to 'FamilySearch' "Support", when action is REQUIRED by 'FamilySearch' "Support".
Apart from anything 'blatant' ...
Provide one indicates, that one has tried; and, supplies examples of such unsuccessful attempts (eg. "Discussions", and/or, "Messages"; and/or, the like), then 'FamilySearch' really should take action.
[ Well, as implied by that aforementioned "Knowledge Article" in 'FamilySearch' ▬ use it to one's advantage ]
Just my thoughts.
I hope this helps.