Persons who have not been online for a year (Abandoned Trees)

Started by Eldon Clark (C) on Thursday, December 30, 2010


Profiles Mentioned:

  • <private> Wooten
    Geni member
  • <private> Knepprath
    Geni member
  • Geni member
  • Geni member
  • <private> Baldwin
    Geni member

Related Projects:

Showing 1-30 of 695 posts
12/30/2010 at 9:54 PM

Geni help told me to start a discussion on this subject so here are examples
Timothy Wayne Leslie
Private User

Private User
12/30/2010 at 10:12 PM

Great! Thanks for taking this initiative.

Private User
12/30/2010 at 11:30 PM

One can always hope -- Good will (eventually) prevail!

1/1/2011 at 6:56 AM

I'm sure could generate a list by running queries into their own database of "last log in's" that would return all people that did not log in since a certain time period. So before manually generating a list that would only be incomplete (compared to a code generated list) I think it might be of greater benefit to discus here what we would like, it's userbase, or curators to actually do with the list.

1/1/2011 at 7:15 AM

Here's a proposal for profiles abandoned by users:

Abandoned Profiles made Public Rule after 1 year:
Profiles that have a Birth_Year older than 110 years from the current date AND are "Private" AND who have a single manager AND manager last login > 360 days would have the "historic profile" they manage automatically marked "Public". (Public profiles are viewable but still not editable by others)

Abandoned Profiles made Editable Rule after 2 years:
Profiles that match ALL of the above criteria but who's single manager who's last login > 720 days, would have the profile they manage, added to a manager. These "abandoned profiles" would then be both viewable and editable by all users. (Profiles abandoned for 2 years, where the presumption that the profile is of a deceased individual, would be both "Public" and editable.

Clearly the above would be departure from current policy and both the details of such a proposed change and its implementation would have to be vetted by the usergroup and to come up with a balance between individual user control and changes to enhance the user base collaboration.

1/1/2011 at 7:34 AM

I should add that as a courtesy to the userbase that should attempt to contact the inactive profile managers via email 30 days before the historic (deceased) profiles that they manage are about to be made "Public" (viewable). The email would explain the collaborative nature of the web site, inform the user that they manage profiles of deceased person's who are most likely related (and of interest) to other users, and that the profiles of these deceased person's (from the 1800's and older) will be changed from private to public.

If they user cares enough to login to the site then the counter is reset for another year and the "abandoned" profile(s) is not auto made public.

But...If they don't login then the presumption is that the manager is either deceased, changed their email address, or by lack of activity forfeits the rights to keep a profile that they previously managed of the deceased "historic" ancestor private.

Gloria Arnold
1/1/2011 at 7:44 AM

I agree with Randy that "as a courtesy to the userbase" should contact the profile manager before making any decision or taking any action on any profile.

1/1/2011 at 7:58 AM

Here are a few questions and problems that I foresee with how to handle "abandoned profiles". Clearly identifying these obstacles and some proposed solutions and policies would help. If you have any suggestions please add to this discussion:

Q: But some abandoned profiles of people that lived hundred's of years ago don't include a birth date or death date. But clearly looking at the tree of surrounding profiles you can see that they should be deceased..what about making those profiles public and editable?

A: If the profile is married, the child of, or the sibling of other profiles that do have dates that place the (non-dated) profile clearly in the historic part of the tree then they could then be considered "deceased" and made public even without death dates.

Q: Some people live to be over 110 years old. Aren't we going to then accidentally make public some profiles of people still living?

A: Yes but very unlikely. Perhaps then if a 110 year old profile is to be made public should auto-delete current location, telephone number or other contact info that may be populated in the profile.

Q: Don't I have a right to privacy for any and all profiles that I add to the web site even for profiles that might be of interest to others?
A: ???

Q: What about if I accidentally add a death date or birthdate to a profile that was wrong and the person isn't really deceased but now their profile is public...Is there a way that the profile can be made private again?
A: ???

1/1/2011 at 8:07 AM


This discussion and my above posts reflect my own thinking and do not necessarily reflect the thinking of management, programmers or our user curators. I do not know of any discussions to actually implement changes like those that I outline.

Those reading this discussion should not confuse the issues discussed with how currently handles "abandoned" profiles.
In fact I don't actually know exactly how they currently handle them? :)

Everything discussed here is hypothetical for the moment.


1/1/2011 at 9:08 AM

Randy: I should have been clearer about the purpose of this discussion. First every one of the persons listed have not been online for over a year with one exception (11 1/2 months). They are blocking merges in my immediate family (5 generations or less) I asked Geni to release them and nothing has happened. Geni help suggested that I start a discussion. This has nothing to do with historical profiles which I believe should all be public.
We know that Geni could generate a list but why do that. They should just release the profiles so anyone who was interested could pick them up, but not control them. Access to all who need access. Then you would you would be able to work toward the single tree.
I do not agree with the two year idea. If a person has not been online for a year, it seems to me that that person is not interested in their tree. You can find many cases where a person joined Geni, uploaded or entered data and never came online again

Private User
1/1/2011 at 12:25 PM

Erase them out of our tree until a futher date if they return

1/1/2011 at 12:37 PM

Deanna, you never want to delete anyone from the tree. You could loose data that no one else has. If the persons tree is made public, except the first three generations for privacy, then the data is there for everyone.

Private User
1/1/2011 at 3:06 PM

Hello, Eldon, Randy, Deanna, and Gloria

I thought I would add my two cents worth as a curator. This is a topic that the curator community has discussed on several occasions, with members of Geni staff participating. We have not been given a definitive answer yet but we know that they are working on it.

Randy, I have very little skill at writing rules or programs, so I am not qualified to say if your suggestion would work. Have you contacted anyone on staff to see if it is possible? Sometimes they are slow at responding but they do respond. Save your help ticket number and if you haven't gotten a response in a couple of weeks, send them a reminder, referencing the ticket number.

Deanna, I must second Eldon's statement about never deleting anyone from the tree, for exactly the same reason that Eldon gave.

Gloria, many of these people are simply not reachable. Often they changed email addresses and did not update their Geni profiles. Therefore, they are not receiving any updates from or about Geni.

Eldon, one of the profiles you listed at the beginning of this post, "Nacho Mama," may be a fake profile. There is a project for fake profiles. One Geni staff member monitors that project and tries to resolve fake profiles. Would you mind adding Mama to this project?

Thank you all for your participation in Geni and for your wish to have accurate trees with profiles usable by all.

Maria Edmonds-Zediker, curator

Private User
1/2/2011 at 1:49 AM

Eldon and Maria, - what is the arguments for classifying NachoMama as a fake account? - she just have some funny Display Name and I doubt that her 33 profiles causes any problem for anyone. It is just an abandoned account, and the revision log shows that someone have edit access to the profile, so I would leave it out..

1/2/2011 at 12:15 PM

I agree with Bjorn. I clicked on NachoMama, who has a real name, and she's a distant relative with a family tree. I don't see it being a fake account.

1/2/2011 at 6:57 PM

RE Nacho Mama I could not figure out anything from her profile. There is a recent revision but it was not done by her since she hasn't been online since November 29, 2007 . Someone is playing some type of games! Someone has also removed her from the project.

Private User
1/3/2011 at 8:27 AM

I personally do not know any of the abandonded trees or thier owners so we best just leave them alone and continue doing what we caan with the rest of them.

1/3/2011 at 8:49 AM

Deanna- I am confused about your reply.

Are you saying that just because none of the reported abandoned accounts are interfering with what YOU are working on, that WE should all just drop the issue?

Several of these are posing real roadblocks to people other than yourself.

Private User
1/3/2011 at 10:30 AM

Phyllis D Chambers (Daigle)
Not Online since Feb 11, 2010.
Several Managment requests pending, never responded to on my Daigle line. (She has a fairly large profile base for this family of which I am tied to through my father's mother and have a vested interest in)
Have been able to mark several "zombies" as deceased but there is much to be edited on several of these that I may be able to manage or assist with if she is absent or no longer participating in Geni.
Gregory Fournerat

1/3/2011 at 10:59 AM

Victor Charles Morton
Private User

1/3/2011 at 11:03 AM

With one exception, every one who I have posted is stopping merges. I am not hunting for abandoned profiles, These are ones I find daily while doing merges.

1/3/2011 at 12:59 PM

Although her profile showed that she hadn't been online for almost two years, a login record by Constance Higgins Smith appeared mere minutes after I mentioned her in this thread.

Still no sign of activity from her, though.

1/3/2011 at 1:13 PM

Are any Geni employees following this discussion?

1/3/2011 at 1:25 PM

David, I don't know if Geni is following this or not. There does not seem to be any great rush for Geni to resolve the problem It doesn't seem like there has been any activity on my original help request that prompted this discussion. Lets try this Noah Tutak.
Interesting about Constance Higgins Smith. Some kind of game playing?

<private> Baldwin
1/4/2011 at 4:52 AM

Is there a provision for re-entry to Geni for people who may have forgotten their password?? It may sound like a stupid question but thought I'd ask.

Also, I thought that anything after 4 generations was public, yet I find shadow (or blocked files) way further back than that because of GEDCOM files being downloaded (I know next to nothing about the excuse my question if it is nerdy)....shouldn't anything 1800 and back be OPEn to the public??

Oh..not to forget Pablo Herman...missing in action

Yes there is. If someone can not log in they merely have to send an email to and explain the situation.

Family-Group extends to your 4th Great-Grandparents (and their descendants out to 4th cousins). That is SEVEN generations.

If you find profiles further back than that, please post a comment here, with a link to it: and a Curator will try and make it public. This is NOT always possible, as there are people who "claim" historical profiles. Of course we try and handle those as well...

<private> Baldwin
1/4/2011 at 5:18 AM

Thanks for the info Shmuel-Aharon...

<private> Baldwin
1/4/2011 at 8:58 AM

The 2nd part of your suggestion is more difficult. The ONLY options are
'contact manager' or 'close'
Cannot even copy and paste the profile . It is 1st initial and last name only on white background..
So what do you do if manager doesn't respond?

1/4/2011 at 9:04 AM


You're encountering "zombies" -- they are errors in GEDCOM uploads where there was no birth or death dates, thus set to "living" even though they are clearly unlikely to be (i.e., the 17th century).

Click on a link of a nearby public profile so we're oriented, post to the "zombies, please" discussion, and a curator will try to put them to rest ("make them public and deceased).

1/4/2011 at 10:35 AM

Private User

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