The Side Effect

To think that this is my first post in almost a year! Oops. I’ll do an update post another time as I want to write about this first.

Now onto the post, with Ancestry announcing a change to their Terms and Conditions (Judy G. Russell covers it here and here) there has been a lot of people withdrawing their media from the website because the update to the terms. I’m one of the people who has done this as I was not really happy with this change and am now looking at a tree with just pink and blue silhouettes (for female and male respectively) But while it’s a genuine concern now we know what our content could be used for if we choose to leave it up there – what would be the after affect because of this? When the news broke on Twitter, I did a thread and in two of the tweets of the thread I spoke about this change from a young genealogist’s point of view.

It’s one of the things I had covered in my presentation regarding using images/media to intrigue and interest the Next Gen but there’s a problem as I mentioned earlier – due to the new terms being in effect, are we unraveling all the threads of work we’ve done trying to intrigue people in the first place? While this may seem like the right option we’re taking the illustrative side of genealogy away. But the fact that the terms are detering people from uploading media in the future, what do we need to expect/be wary of in the future? If this is one outlet that we are “leaving” (I guarantee you I’ll think of the word I wanted after posting this!) then we need to make up for that in other ways, as we need to remember, there are other methods of sharing our family history – that photo with a story you have or a document you had transcribed and don’t know where to have it. There’s places like Google Blogger or a free WordPress website, I’ll cover more ways in another post.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, drop a comment below or send me a tweet. As always, stay tuned for the next post.

3 responses to “The Side Effect”

  1. I agree with you that we can and should share family history photos on our own sites. Also remember to watermark or otherwise indicate that you are the owner of the image because it will most likely be shared, with or without permission, within the family and well beyond. And IMHO, don’t post photos of living people, for privacy reasons.


  2. Hi Daniel…my thoughts on the matter may be skewed because I haven’t had many things to upload. But personally if I’d had things relating to my ancestors other than what I find online I wouldn’t have uploaded them to Ancestry anyway. The only reason is that I don’t trust any site to not try and “steal” your pics for their own personal self. These new terms proves me right.

    I think posting on Blogger, WordPress, or any such blogging site would be much better. If and when I get things settled with my own site that’s what I’ll be doing. As for Ancestry, I’m very displeased with their new terms for all those people who do enjoy posting the pics of their ancestors. I feel they’ve lost a nice place to share their family history.


  3. If I didn’t generously share what I have, extended family members would never have the thrill of discovering our family pictures. I’ll continue to share, and I hope others will do the same.
    I have one cousin whose mother took all the pictures from her father’s (our grandfather’s) house the day he died. They were pictures in our grandmother’s collection, and many of them came from her own grandmother (so our 2x great-grandmother). To our knowledge, almost none of the pictures had copies made or distributed to any other family members. There are 3 rather large suitcases full of albums and loose pictures and documents.
    There is a sad, sad point to my telling that – the cousin in possession of those family treasures has shown them to only 3 of us, and won’t allow anyone to make copies of them. She has absolutely no idea who many of the subjects are, and although we have older family members still alive who would almost certainly be able to identify the subjects, she refuses to bring the pictures to family reunions where they can be viewed and recorded. It makes me sick to know that she’s left the pictures out on a table after showing her kids some of the “old fashions”, and that her dogs chewed some of them to pieces. She laughed about it! She said her dogs must have thought they were tasty.
    I’ve begged her to allow the historical society in the county to make copies of the pictures. I’ve begged her to scan them onto a flash drive so that I can make copies for the rest of our cousins. Nothing seems to move her. They’re HERS in her mind, and she gets attention every time another cousin begs to have a chance to see them.

    Think about it this way: if no one shared, your family story would be a short one.


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