The Genealogy & Family History Social Network
For people who love FindaGrave.com, especially taking volunteer photos!
Latest Activity: Apr 12
Started by David. Last reply by H Girdley Jun 25, 2012.
Started by Bonnie Skiles Rost. Last reply by Michael F. Kibel Jun 25, 2012.
Started by Helen Leggatt May 15, 2012.
@Julia Mitchel I have to disagree with you. While Findagrave is free to use, it is a commercial enterprise as they make money from people not only sponsoring the memorials, but with all that horrible flash advertising that pops up while you're using the website. They get money from those ads!
But you're right, it IS a nice site. The theory behind it is wonderful and it has been enormously helpful in my (and others) genealogy research. It is terribly unfortunate that the site has been blighted by Jim Tipton, the owner, and his crony administrators. When I first joined there, I was gung-ho and offered myself as a volunteer to go around and take photos and was thrilled to do so. It wasn't until I ran into the admins and the owner that things quickly crumbled...and I'm not the only one. Google "findagrave" and "complaints." You'll be shocked at what you find!
I actually contacted ancestry.com about taking over where findagrave will eventually leave off. And I say that not as my own retaliation to get them closed, but because even without me, they are crossing too many members and deleting their work. I just came across a complaint from a gal who had 6000 of her memorials deleted by them, because she complained about a woman who had 16,000 memorials! Favoritism is rampant there.
If ancestry.com isn't interested (they have expressed an interest) then I WILL look into starting my own site. Either way, what a shame it will be to see all that work go down the drain for all the members as mine has.
You don't keep letting non-perfect sites exist simply because other non-perfect sites are there!
Mediocrity breeds complacency.
Eric, I feel your pain. However, Find a Grave is a FREE site, available to everyone, and no one has to use it. Now that everything on the Internet has a fee to use, I think F.A.G. is a very nice perk for Genealogists and just people wanting to see the grave of a relative. (I am a volunteer, I work for you for free).
I cannot tell you how many problems I have had with Ancestry, and MyFamiliy.com. Their DNA site has my name listed on four different people's DNA.
With your experience with the Alumni website, why not set up your own Memorial site, you could start with your family, friends, and school Alumni, then you could control any issues.
Find a Grave is NOT perfect, but Ancestry, MyFamily, Family Search, Footnote etc are not perfect either. I don't think we will find PERFECT until the next world.
I am appalled at what you have been through with FAG. I'm afraid to say your experience is another reason to keep personal information from public websites. I know my comment is not much consolation to you and unless you have copyrighted your material I'm afraid you won't get too far with your complaints.
However, it is wise to contact as many outlets as you can to complain about his deceptive and dishonorable practices by FAG. Post your experiences with them in as many places as you can so at least other people won't become victims as you have. I also would demand they remove everything from their database that you have posted on their website. If they don't then you might have some recourse there. Of course how you prove that they have in fact done that is another matter. You are not the only victim and won't be the last unless more people like you speak up. You have my sympathies and hopefully someone else with start a more honest website and put these guys out of business. I'd be furious over the whole issue as I can see you are. Good luck with it all. Let us know how it all turns out.
UPDATE: Since I last posted in December and filing a better business bureau complaint against them, I finally heard from owner Jim Tipton and we talked it out. He's a very cocky guy and basiclly said: "It's a pet peeve of mine when people submit BBB complaints regarding Find A Grave. The BBB sees them as a waste of time because they are typically policy disputes, not customer/business disputes. If there's no exchange of money, they basically aren't interested. And, I, personally, certainly see BBB complaints as a waste of time. I let them sit on my desk for weeks or months and then I finally call and explain the situation and they dismiss them."
He reinstated my account (partially) and all my memorials (so clearly nothing is ever truly deleted. I then canceled my BBB complaint.
Since then, the problems all started up again. I submitted several famous memorials only to have them all shot down or given to someone else. Each time something would happen, I would carefully outline it and send it to Jim. No responses.
Then out of the blue, I could no longer access parts of my account. I couldn't go in and change any of my preferences or see my profile page. It appears it was blocked. My memorials were all there, though. So I continued to work on them and wrote to Jim asking why. No response.
I found I could do things, but had to go in backwards. I had to go to one of my memorials, and if I wanted to see my virtual cemeteries, click on that person's virtual cemetery and go in that way. I kept writing to Jim asking what was going on. No response.
So I wrote to him and told him that I was reinstating the BBB complaint and was going to contact the US Copyright Office, the US Attorney General and several of the large media outlets showing how FindAGrave sits back and allows for the stealing of copyrighted materials to be posted on their site.
Then the other day I was on my high school alumni website (that I am the administrator of) and clicked on a classmates link to his memorial on FindAGrave. It came up as non existent. Crap! I started clicking on others, the same thing. So I checked my mom's memorial and sure enough, it was deleted.
All of my memorials have been deleted AGAIN! Guess he finally got wind of my complaints!
I've also written to Ancestry.com outlining all of this and requesting that they look into starting a similar service there. They wrote back and told me I'm not the first to complain to them about FindAGrave and that they would indeed check with their programmers and see about offering the "memorial" services.
I know many of you LOVE this site and I did too. But there are too many egos there ruining things for others, and they can't be allowed to destroy hundreds of hours of someone's work (that deals with their loved ones) with the click of a computer key.
I will now work tirelessly to see that either things change there, or the site is taken down and revived somewhere else. No one controls or destroys my work and gets away with it.
Also, are you all aware that if you delete a photo from a memorial, it's never really deleted unless you specifically write them and ask that it be deleted from the server. Even then, can you really trust that they'll do it?
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