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


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
research....

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

Sharon F. Yampell
Voorhees, NJ (Suburb of Philly)

From: Risa.Becker@gfk.com

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.


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 ancestry.com 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 <genealogicalgenie@live.com>

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
research....

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)" <Risa.Becker@gfk.com>
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.


andrew@...
 

Bess Rose writes:

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
If you click on the "learn more" link, there's an option to pay $1 so
that Facebook will deliver those messages to the recipient's inbox
instead of their "other" folder.

I have found this a worthwhile investment, with about 2/3 of the
recipients responding eagerly, and it has been a great way to connect
with long-lost cousins (some of whom are now good friends).

Best,

Andrew Greene


Emily Garber
 

Whoah! As a genealogist and blogger, I am finding this discussion of
copyright and ethics a bit disconcerting. Putting something on the
Internet does **not** mean one gives up one's ownership of the
material (tacitly or not). Before placing one's material on a website,
it is a good idea to read that website's policies regarding posted
material and rights of use. Typically that use refers to the website's
use of material posted, not the public.

from a user's standpoint, it is wise to consider an Internet posting
as you would any other publication: there may very well be ownership
issues (and, by the way, the owner does not have to explicitly
identify material as copyrighted for copyright laws to apply). Even
under creative commons rules, to reuse material one may have to
identify the source, directly link to the source URL and/or get
permission to reuse material.
http://creativecommons.org/

Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist blog) and James Tanner
(Genealogy's Star blog), both genealogists and attorneys, have written
extensively about copyright issues in genealogy. It is important to
understand the law. Thomas MacEntee (Geneabloggers blog) also has some
good links for information.
http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/
http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/
http://geneabloggers.com/resources-blog-copyright-content-theft/

But, aside >from that, what about ethics? It is not OK to just
appropriate other's stuff. If someone has been kind enough to share
(often with the hope of finding like-minded cousins), then it is the
right thing to contact that person, thank her/him and compare notes.

Emily Garber
Phoenix, AZ
http://www.extrayad.blogspot.com

Bess Rose wrote:
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)...

From: "Becker, Risa (GfK MRI)" <Risa.Becker@gfk.com>
...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?


Janette <janettes@...>
 

Risa wrote:
"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?

I was surprised to read the question and comments in this message
because of many other conversations that we have had on this forum over
a long period of time regarding use of facts and material included in
family trees. Often people have expressed frustration and annoyance at
their family tree information being appropriated for use by other people
without asking permission, and, most of the time not attributing the
source or crediting the person who took the time to gather data and
organize it. Why doesn't the use of the photographs that are included
with those trees send up the same red flags? Using actual public record
documents, like vital records, is obviously ok, since those are in the
public domain, using photographs and other material which is likely
privately held is not ok.

Personally, I don't put anything on the web, including extensive and
detailed family trees that I think will remain sacrosanct. That does
not mean, however, that I think anything anyone puts on the web as part
of their trees opens that tree and its contents up for mining.

Janette Silverman
Phoenix, AZ and NYC


Schelly Talalay Dardashti
 

On Tracing the Tribe - Jewish Genealogy on Facebook -
https://www.facebook.com/groups/20364215746/ -
which now has almost 3,300 very active global talented members who
delight in quickly translating gravestones and documents (almost
instantaneously!), helping to overcome brick walls and doing some
really wonderful things, the pinned "guidelines" are very clear.

Ethical and copyright considerations are important. Just because it
is on the Internet does not mean it is free for the taking.

"*New* Simple rules: No politics, no commercial sales, no proselytizing.
This is a *Jewish* genealogy group and all postings must have some
connection to Jewish genealogy. Thanks to all who abide by the rules.
Inappropriate posts - and the poster - will be removed immediately.
Posts in English, please! *Addition*: All information and documents
provided in these posts by members may *not* be used for any purpose
whatsoever without the express written consent of the poster."

These are the new rules. I did not have that last sentence in there
until it became necessary.

with best wishes
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
Founder, Tracing the Tribe - The Jewish Genealogy Blog
Founder, Tracing the Tribe - Jewish Genealogy on Facebook
schelly@tracingthetribe.com