RADIOFREE USGENWEB--Free the Rootsweb Four!
ON January 19, 1999, this message was posted to the USGENWEB-ALL mailing list by Mr. Brian Leverich, banning four USGenWeb members from using Rootsweb resources for at least 30 days. This action taken without warning or notification, and Mr. Leverich only posted this notice after some members started asking questions on the USGENWEB-ALL mailing list. These four members, all active participants in good standing in USGenWeb, were essentially guilty of nothing more than being occasionally critical of the USGW Advisory Board and/or Rootsweb and its undue influence in the USGW Project. The bannings persisted through several management changes at RootsWeb and well after it was purchased by MyFamily.com, Inc. They continued until June 2001, despite sporadic efforts by some project members and Board members to get them lifted and in the face of a last ditch effort by some Board members and the National Coordinator to claim they had been already been.
READ the True Tale of How It Happened!
SEE the Conditions For Two of the Banned to Return to RootsWeb!!
The "30 day ban" turns one year old! ENJOY the Special Anniversary Edition of the Daily Board Show!!
The Bans Are Lifted! On June 4, 2001 the first of the bans was lifted, 871 days after it was imposed. I made my first post to the USGENWEB-ALL list in over two years on June 5. It is not possible to express enough thanks to those of you who stuck with us through all this and never wavered in your support of the RootsWeb Four and free speech. A special thanks goes to Carol Carwile-Head, who never ever gave up hounding both the Advisory Board and RootsWeb to correct this injustice. Thanks also to Teri Pettit who instituted a recent effort on the Board to get us reinstated, and to Jake Gehring, Executive Producer of RootsWeb who actually gave the order. No thanks at all to the rest of the Board who, when given an opportunity to take action on behalf of their constituents, acted promptly and tabled the motion.
What follows this is now old news; it will remain posted here for history's sake.
Since reinstatement of our privileges will be contingent on Mr. Leverich's approval of our behavior, it is unlikely that any of us will ever again be allowed to use Rootsweb's resources. None of us will apologize, since we have done nothing wrong. This means we cannot:
Additionally, one of The Four was prevented by this banning from voting in the ongoing USGenWeb election for NC and a regional representative. However, after a week, RW did allow the member to vote.
Mr. Leverich has threatened to "take whatever actions seem appropriate" in reprisal against anyone who helps any of us access RW resources, making it quite clear that all who do not toe the RW line will suffer the same fate.
The USGenWeb Project Advisory Board does not seem interested in this issue, and seems content to let Mr. Leverich run the project and decide who is and who is not a suitable participant in the Project.
If you would like to express your opinion of this action, please contact the National Coordinator , or your regional representatives.
In the interim, an alternate forum for the free expression of opinion has been formed for interested USGW members: the USGenWeb All List, version 2. To subscribe, go to:
Once subscribed, you will receive mail at your regular email address. You will not have to use your browser to read mail. You may access the list archives at the above address as well. The Daily Board Show is posted to this list.
* Cyndi Howells, the owner of Cyndi's List, had no involvement in the action taken by Mr. Leverich to ban the Rootsweb Four that has resulted in those people not being able to legally use her list. Ms. Howells considers that her site is open to all with no restrictions.
| RADIO FREE USGENWEB, © 1999, 2000, 2001 by Teresa Lindquist, all rights reserved. |
All contents of this website are the property of Teresa Lindquist and may not be reproduced in any form without express written permission of the owner. All graphics referring to "Root$web" do so for the purposes of parody. RootsWeb.com, Inc. is not affiliated with this website and most certainly does not endorse it. All opinions expressed herein are those of the author.