System should prevent a guest from changing names to periods
Another guest went into my family tree and changed dozens of my relatives'/ancestors' names to periods. Clicking on the period, seeing all changes, and restoring a name results in only restoring the name. All vital information regarding birth, death, etc. and relationships are gone. To restore that information, names, and relationships, I've had to go to the beta Family Search and copy the data to paste into my regular Family Search. Names of spouses and children have to be restored by ID number, but restoring these names by ID number does not restore their vital information and relationships (such as children's spouses and children). I have spent many hours trying to fix this, but every day the extent of the damage done spreads further. This has been very frustrating, upsetting, and painful. The guest that caused the damage was messaged, and she responded by saying she is "new to this", and apologized. She now realizes she is not related to any of my ancestors. So far "see all changes" shows that she has been viewing and making changes to my ancestors since 2019 (or before), and she started changing names to periods in June, 2021. My daughter discovered the changes to some ancestors in early July, 2021 and messaged the guest about it, but got no response. If she had stopped then, countless hours of restoration work could have been prevented. Hopefully receiving the guest's apology will prevent this from happening to others by her, but if someone else uses the practice the damage done could be horrendous.
I am attaching a document with screen shots showing examples of this issue for one of my ancestors.
It was recommended to me to provide a list of some of the ID numbers of individuals I have had to restore: KN6V-GD2, LBP5-4NN, KN6V-G6Y, KG33-54V, KG33-54V, L4T7-4K1, L7GT-X1X, (There are many more, but hopefully this is sufficient to give you the idea.).
Of course, other punctuation marks could do the same damage. I hope you will be able to prevent this from happening to others in the future.
It would help greatly if restoring a name would also automatically restore their vital information and relationships.0
Thank you Andrew. I did report this as "abuse" as directed by Family Search representatives, but the data administration responded that the issue did not constitute their definition of "abuse".
I agree that training or other restrictions should be in place to prevent this kind of damage from being done. Every day that I continue to try to restore information, the extent of repercussions continues to be revealed - countless family lines. Any information contributed by relatives since the beta was established cannot be completely restored by me (vitals and relationships) because I don't have access to their research. The only recourse in those situations is to message those relatives and suggest they see what they can fix. In spite of my efforts, there may be people and data as lines extend that I don't discover. Hopefully other relatives will discover their lost family members and be able to restore them.
Thanks again for your response! It is comforting to know there are others out there who recognize the seriousness of this issue.0
I just found an example of how the individual changed a name back to a period after my daughter messaged her and corrected it. See attached.
Somehow action has to be taken to stop this!0
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
From recent reports, and my own experience, this issue could quickly get completely out of hand.
I had exactly the same "polite" response from a user who had completely changed the identities of IDs I had been working on. I got a "Sorry, I'm new to this" response, even though it took some "skill" to change the names around in the way she did.
FamilySearch managers cannot say they have not been made aware of these problems, as they continue to allocate insufficient resources to stop what is amounting to vandalism. It just needs someone who, say, has a grudge against the Church to do extensive damage to the whole project.
Please "FamilySearch", act now, as nobody wants to have to say "I told you so", if or when the serious damage does start to get underway.
There are already enough deceased individuals who are totally disappearing from Family Tree, due to careless or genuinely inexperienced users making merges of completely unmatching IDs. So you must carefully consider what someone (or group) with serious intent could do here.1
Update: My daughter showed me how in "See all changes" for an individual the vital data and the relationships were removed there by the person doing the periods. They aren't automatically removed when a name is changed to a period. I apologize for my mistake in my report. This does indicate, however, how much time and effort went into removing names, data, relationships, and sources from my ancestors.0