The role of Social Networks in Genealogy Research #general

Becker, Risa (GfK MRI) <Risa.Becker@...>

I've found Social Networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to be very
valuable in finding living relatives. I've located 4th/5th cousins, etc. I
don't always reach out to these folks, but I do add their names, DOB, etc. to
my "family tree" if appropriate.

I'm curious about the ethical considerations, however, in using these sites
and specifically, in copying pictures to use in a family tree. All users to
a social networking sites have privacy control settings and may choose to
limit who can see their friends lists, pictures, etc. If a social network
user has not put in place these limits and his/her page is publicly available,
is it appropriate for me to copy a "head-shot" to use in my tree without the
owners' explicit permission?

My tree (on ancestry) is public too, but information on "living" people is
blocked unless you've been specifically invited to view it, so in that way,
I'm not "publicizing" information about anyone that's not already public.

In any case, I wanted to open up the topic for discussion and see if there is
a general consensus on this topic.

Thanks for any feedback!

Risa Becker

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