I've been working on my families' histories since age 13. I will be 71 this May. I remember well doing the things you have listed here. Further, I still do them.
Although I have been at this longer than a lot of the newbies have been alive, I still don't know all there is to know, and I pray that I will never get too old to learn. I still make mistakes, though hopefully not the same mistakes over and over again.
I cannot tell you how many hundreds of times I have told people not to rely on internet genealogy, or how many hundreds of times I have tried to get erroneous data corrected. It's a losing proposition. It falls on blind eyes and deaf ears.
Sometimes I feel very sad that these researchers, if you can call them that, don't care about what is right. They care only that they have so many thousand names in their database. It makes me angry when someone says that. It's not the quantity that matters, it's the quality.
You are right that we are up against a huge money maker. They have a powerful tool and are irresponsible in its use. That's what happens when there is no accountability. They don't even care whether or not they have a good reputation.
I have tried all I know to try. I haven't gotten very far. I've said before, and I will say again ... the only chance we have against these irresponsible businesses is to unite and protest as a group. Nobody has been interested in doing that. Until we do, all we can do is to keep posting such messages as yours and hope we reach one in one hundred researchers.
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