Sunday, April 21, 2013

Verified authentic

Anyone doing family history online is aware of the tendency for wrong things to propagate on the internet.  Someone makes a mistake, transposes a date or gets some detail wrong, and before you can say wha? the information has spread like wildfire. 

There's a very irritating case which irks me from time to time.  A man studying his wife's family ascribed my ancestor's older brother to someone for reasons I can't fathom.  I know absolutely whose son he was, where he was born, where he lived etc.

I pointed out the error to the gentleman concerned and said I was willing to send him all the proofs he might want that the person he had down as his father was not his father.  He sent me an email saying that he knew it was probably wrong, and would change it when he got round to it.  About three years later I am still waiting for that to happen.  Meanwhile, other people studying the same family have taken the information off this person's ancestry account and it is all over the place.  Wrong.

I love Pinterest, the website that allows you to pin things you find interesting or want to remember.  The great thing about it is that it retains the links to the original picture, and so if you click through the pinned picture, you will be taken to the website where the image was originally found.  Except that some people don't seem to have understood the original intention, and have uploaded pictures again, so they lead nowhere.  Or have pinned them from Imagr or Tumblr, where they had already been separated from their original position on the web and from any information about them.

There's a picture of a house crammed between two outcrops of rock on Pinterest.  The link leads to a list of amazing places around the world, most of which are natural, not man made.  And then it links to an image blog, which has no information except for the title... House between two worlds.  On pinterest the title has changed to house between two rocks, and I have found dozens and dozens of pins and lots of lists online which include it.  But I think it is actually a computer generated image, not a photograph of a real place.

It's getting to the point where it is possible to post things on Pinterest, and to find that things come full circle... posted on Pinterest, linked to by other websites, then used in blogs which quote pinterest as the source.

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