Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

Today is the one-week birthday of GenealogyWise. In the last couple of days we have had to face some censorship issues for the first time. We have not been around long enough to have set policies for these kind of issues. So, we want to turn to you, our members, to help us set our censorship policies. We invite each of you to respond letting us know whether or not you think the following types of posts should be censored:

(1) Content related to pornography or adult content
(2) Content promoting products and services not related to genealogy (business opportunities, etc.)
(3) Content that is disrespectful or rude (name calling, etc.)

We value your feedback and want your help in setting policies. What do you think?

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Very well put John. Obscenity really does depend upon community standards and I think that Genealogy Wise does at least need to set some guidelines.
To quote John, "deleting the post is a great way to make the individual angrier - whereas a comment might actually help calm them down." This is a great point. BUT, the moderator has to be willing to step in and MODERATE the group...that's just part of the job. Bottom line: If you are not willing to MODERATE, don't start a group.
Thank you Kiril. Great feedback.
(1) Content related to pornography or adult content:

- definitely don't need it on a genealogy website


(2) Content promoting products and services not related to genealogy (business opportunities, etc.):

- the less spam the better

(3) Content that is disrespectful or rude (name calling, etc.):

- more difficult to define because it is subjective, but there are some things which clearly are outside of acceptable posts - name-calling, hate language, profanity, etc.
Hi Toni. How would you write a policy about rudeness because it is so subjective?
Presence of 1 and 2 would cause me to leave the site -- not what I come here for. Promotion of genealogy products is okay but not to the point where it becomes spam. Number 3 is difficult as it's subjective; best to leave that for the worst cases and/or when a complaint is made.
You raise a good point Judith that maybe the censoring on #3 should not be initiated by FamilyLink, but should only be initiated when the members report it and it is an issue to the members. What does everyone think about that?
I think a self-policed community carries more weight and is a happier place than having an admin of such community use their own standards to delete forum posts or other items.

A deletion should first come with a warning (via email not on the post or elsewhere so as to embarass ther person).

Face it - we all have passion about what we do esp. genealogy. There are times when we can get caught up in stuff and not realize how we are communicating with others. We see this through emails that are sent, then the sender says "that doesn't sound like what I meant" and they try to retract it. Social media - for all its positive qualities - will never never replace the way we can communicate face-to-face with others especially through the use of inflection and non-verbals.
I agree with all the posters here. GenealogyWise also needs to ensure that none of its members post content which is in breach of copyright. There seems to be very little in the way of guidance offered on the site about what members can and can't post. While GW has been busy deleting posts they seem to have been oblivious to the fact that the Look Up Angels board has a number of illicit postings. People are for instance offering blanket look-ups from CDs and booklets published by family history societies and the LDS. There are other people offering blanket look-ups from subscription services such as Ancestry.
Great point Debbie. We definitely do not want GW to violate any copyrights. That is an important addition to this policy we had not considered yet. When you are logged in, you can click the "Report this" link at the bottom of the page to tell us about any specific violations of copyrights.
A member of the Devon Family History Society has I understand already reported this issue on the Look Up Angels board where you have a member offering free look-ups from a Devon Family History Society CD. I've also put comments in the group about the issue. To date no action has been taken. Family history societies depend on the sale of their CDs and other publications for their income. If you permit people to provide free look-ups from these CDs then the family history societies will suffer in a big way. The Look Up Angels group is in fact run by one of your administrators so I think you really need to ensure that your admins and staff are aware of such issues so that such contraventions do not occur in future. I've used the report link to advise again of the problem and I hope that this time it will have an effect.
I don't think Look Ups should be strictly banned, maybe the policy should be that a person can look up information for you, but not GIVE the information to you? For example, if I asked someone to search a name and gave identifying information, and asked them to look up a newspaper article for me, that person should be able to do that but not print the article or give you a text of the article. They should be able to say 'there is an article which mentions so and so, in this place, it is from this newspaper on this date. the article concerns an accident, I believe it to be your ancestor'. I would then KNOW there is an article, and paying the money to have my own subscription to a newspaper archive would then be more helpful.

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