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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Fake Family Founder Tries Cunning New Defense

From the (Salt Lake City, Utah) Deseret Morning News of Nov. 12, 2005:

Fake family trees online may trip up genealogists

By Lee Davidson
Deseret Morning News

Genealogists beware.

A software company is marketing a new program to Internet advertisers that could quickly generate Web sites full of extensive, but fake, family trees.

Critics say the approach appears to be part of a new money-making scheme to lure people who search for family names on Google, Yahoo or other search engines to Web sites that use bogus data to help ensure they appear high on "hit lists." They then make money if visitors click on advertisers' links.

They worry that novices might download false information that is designed to look real, and then corrupt others' family trees if they share that bad data online or through family history databases such as those offered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the commercial Utah-based Ancestry.com

[snip]

"Boo hoo," [Fake Family co-creator Don] Harrold told the Morning News in response to such complaints.

[snip]

[Read the whole story]
If you're not yet outraged, see the Fake Family discussion on Dick Eastman's website.

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