Re: The role of Social Networks in Genealogy Research #general

Bess Rose <barose1@...>

I also find social networking sites helpful in finding family members. In
terms of the pictures, if they have set their privacy settings to "public,"
they have given tacit permission to you to use the pictures in your tree, in
my opinion (assuming you're not making monetary profit >from them). Now that
Facebook puts messages >from people you're not "friends" with into an "Other"
folder, people I reach out to usually don't see my message and don't accept
my friend request because they don't know who I am. Also, I like the feature
on now that links members of your tree to your Facebook
friends, and automatically shows their profile picture in your tree. (Of
course this only works when people have accepted your friend request.)

Bess Rose
Baltimore, MD

From: sharon yampell <>

No matter how distant of a cousin is that I find on Facebook, I still
contact them and explain to them how we are related...I then ask them if
they have any pictures they may want to contribute to my tree or if I may
copy and paste pictures they have....

There was one time when more than 75% of my friends on Facebook were cousins
ranging >from first all the way to fifth that I had found through years of

I believe you should reach out to these relatives! It is fascinating to
learn of similarities even in the most distant of cousin!

From: "Becker, Risa (GfK MRI)" <>
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.

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