WeRelate:Suggestions/Prevention of Living People and 'Stealth' Living People


I found some old conversations about this from a couple of years ago, but I was hoping that WR could have some stronger methods to prevent living people from being added. I know there are safeguards in the GEDCOM upload process, but there are still a few problems I have seen in the time I have been on the speedy delete team that is responsible for cleaning up these pages - 1. People can still add 'Living __________' manually. Maybe many people wont do that, but there is no reason for Living anyone or anything to be on WR. The only exception should be the example JRich found of a couple of people who had 'Living' as a Christian name. 2. Users can still upload what I call 'stealth' living people who either have 'private' written in the birth date line, or simply upload blank pages with the name of the person. There are a ton of these on WR, and many could be Livings but are not found because they aren't as easy to spot as Livings because Living isn't in the name line. So, to remedy this, it seems that two things should happen - 1. Prevention of 'Living' in any name space, whether it is uploaded or added manually. Perhaps in the rare cases of the Living as a given name, this could be an oversight admin addition. 2. (and this may not be popular) - prevention of the upload or saving of person pages that do not have at least a date in the birth date or christining date lines. In the past I would create blank pages when I was in the midst of adding a large family, but it might be better in the long run to prevent blank pages altogether. They add nothing to the site and are an avenue to letting living people here. I've spent many hours over the last month deleting living people pages (I have personally deleted well over 10,000 of them), and I would hate for this problem to build back up in the future. Daniel Maxwell 07:18, 1 August 2013 (EDT)

"prevention of the upload or saving of person pages that do not have at least a date in the birth date or christining date lines" is highly problematic. I have many entries for people long-dead where I do not know either the birth or christening date. Often these came from marriage or death records or records of births of their children, etc. I generally avoid estimated birth dates as these are usually highly speculative and basically worthless. I would be VERY displeased if someone deleted these pages because they represent a lot of work on my part and are important links in the families I am reconstructing. --Jhamstra 00:18, 5 August 2013 (EDT)
'Worthless' you say, but as long as you make it clear is it an estimate, there is no foul no harm. All good genealogists estimate birth dates - one look at any issue of TAG will show you this. I don't see what the problem is, honestly. Sure, there were times I was in the middle of doing a large family group and I made stubs with nothing on them in prep to add the data in a large editing batch, but I cannot ever imagine adding pages that are 100% blank and leaving them that way. What if, say, blank meaning NOTHING else on the page? What needs to be eliminated are the stealth livings, and on abotu 90% they have abolutely nothing on them - no sources, dates, comments, nada. I don't see the value in such pages. Daniel Maxwell 04:35, 5 August 2013 (EDT)
It is not clear if by "100% blank" you are including pages with links to spouses, parents, children. I happen to consider family relationships to be very important and interesting - perhaps more interesting than the vital facts on the individual. When I come across names of parents on marriage or birth records I often create Family and sometimes Person pages for those parents even though I know nothing more about them than who was their child and who that child married. I don't consider a Person page with a Family link to be blank, but perhaps you do?
Also, my previous comment was directed at your suggestion that missing birth or christening data be grounds for deletion. I can show you lots of Person pages that have other useful information like when and where they died, where they were buried, who were their parents, spouses and children. I can also show you lots of Person pages where the birth estimates are obviously junk, apparently automatically estimated by some family tree program with no correlation with other life facts such as when they married and how old was their spouse, when their parents were born or died, etc.
I would agree that it is useful to have some clue as to which century a person might have lived, especially when checking for duplicates, but I suspect that requiring a birth estimate will simply lead to more bad estimates from contributors who do not want their contributions rejected or deleted. --Jhamstra 11:29, 5 August 2013 (EDT)
Then perhaps you haven't seen the careful work of New England heavy editors like myself who frequently use estimates, clearly started, that are far from 'bad'. None of the ones we add are 'auto generated', either. I don't upload gedcoms and never will. But you're missing the point. Your pages are not what I am targeting. There are over 100K + of either openly living people or other people pages that are blank, and connect only to a series of other blank pages - unclear what century of them lived in. Many of them are an attempt to circumvent the no living people requirements. Personally, I think blank pages are worthless, but can you at least appreciate what I am trying to accomplish? The clean up of these pages is a massive and time consuming undertaking. I just don't want it to have to repeated in a few years because people are removing the dates from living people in their gedcoms so they can still have them. And no, I was not talking about spouse, family, etc pages. Just the person pages. That is where the major problems are. Daniel Maxwell 12:42, 5 August 2013 (EDT)
I've been talking with Dallan for a middle ground between what I think the site needs and Jhamstra's concerns. In the GEDCOM upload process, there may be a way for it to check to see the dates associated with people who are blank to determine whether or not they are still living. So let's say you have someone born in 1750 died 1818 with blank parents, known from a Catholic marriage book. This would not be rejected. But on the other hand, let's say you are uploading a couple in a tree where the husband was born in 1915 but died in 1992, and spouse is blank. This would likely be flagged by the system. Another example may be if you have too many generations in a row with no dates. We'll see what can be come up with, but the solution may be something like that. Daniel Maxwell 14:06, 29 August 2013 (EDT)