No matter what Facebook says…
In just a little more than three months, every American genealogist will be anxiously trying to access one website.
When the 1950 census goes online on 1 April at, first, the National Archives of the United States and then — within hours — at places like Ancestry and FamilySearch, huge numbers of researchers (The Legal Genealogist among them) will need information about census enumeration districts and the like that’s often hard to find and generally hard to use.
Except at one website.
A website where that exact information is easy to find and the easiest to use that exists.
The same website where, for example, we can do one-step searching of ship passenger records.
The same website where we can do one-step searching of the New York State census and a whole ton of New York City records.
The same website where we can find a whole raft of useful tools like alphabet and calendar converters.
The same website where, come 1 April 2022 when that 1950 census is released, so many of us will be scrambling to see if we can figure out exactly where we need to look — what enumeration district — for our family members.
And — sigh — the same website that one great big social media platform called Facebook has decided is spam, and won’t let us include a link to it in any post there. Any post with the URL to the website gets blocked.
The website, of course, is called One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse, it’s been online practically forever (in web terms), and it’s one of the most valuable collections tools a genealogist has.
And why Facebook has labeled it spam is absolutely beyond comprehension.
But then why Facebook does a lot of what Facebook does is absolutely beyond comprehension.
So… here’s what we can do about it.
First and foremost, bookmark the site. We all need to do that. We’re all going to need it come 1 April (and, of course, we can all start using it now to get ready for 1 April and that census release). Go to One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse now and bookmark it.
Second, read up on how to best use the site to get ready for that census. Steve has a great article with Joel Weintraub online on “GETTING READY FOR THE 1950 CENSUS: Searching With and Without a Name Index” that we can review now, and he’s put a recorded presentation about the same topic online.
Third, tell Facebook (now Meta, of course) that it’s wrong. You can do that by going to the Facebook developer tool and entering the website link, which is https://stevemorse.org/, then click on Debug. The tool will return a message: “We can’t review this website because the content doesn’t meet our Community Standards. If you think this is a mistake, please let us know.” Click on the words let us know and tell ’em!! My own comment was: “This website (https://stevemorse.org/) is not spam. It’s a set of genealogical tools that family history researchers need.” Now, mind you, I don’t expect anything — Facebook says it doesn’t review individual reports — but if it gets enough of them, well, miracles can happen, right?
Finally, get used to referring to the website on Facebook as stevemorse (dot) org and telling folks to replace the space (dot) space with a period (and telling them why!!). For now, at least, that doesn’t trigger Facebook’s spam system. That way, when people start asking about where to find the tools, we call all answer without losing our minds (or at least our tempers) over Facebook’s stupidity here.
Because, darn it all, the website One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse is not spam, does not violate any community standards, and shouldn’t be blocked by Facebook.
Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “The One-Step Webpages are NOT spam,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 17 Dec 2021).