Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ancestry backs down

Ancestry has removed their collection of web caches. The announcement is carefully written in neutral language as one would expect from a corporate PR office, but they explain their initial intent ("an effort to preserve history – if a Web page featuring important family history information were taken down in the future, a cached version would still be available"), acknowledge they have heard the concerns raised (not listing those concerns, but PR rarely focuses on the negative unless they feel they have to), and announce they are removing the information 'for the time being.'

The announcement is pretty fresh, and already a few bloggers have picked up on those words. They're the most colloquial-sounding words in the release, but taking them at their word in the rest of the text, they still would like to provide the information, but they want to review the concerns that have been addressed by the community and come up with a way to do it that will be less objectionable. Which is commendable.

I'm a newcomer to this community, but considering the time frame this has all occurred in, their response is impressive. Companies are best judged not by the mistakes they make, because mistakes will be made, but in how they respond to criticism of those mistakes.

1 comment:

Janice said...


I'd like to optimistically believe that learned from their "mistake." Only time will tell.

Regarding that press release.. the people who wrote and approved it should feel really grateful that their names aren't Pinocchio.