Censorship on ReunionTalk Forum?

This week I had been contributing to a thread on the ReunionTalk forum about the wish to be able to link multimedia to events and citations. Some of my posts are disappearing shortly after I enter them!

In response to a specific question I provided details about how Reunion’s citation feature is limited in comparison to what the GEDCOM standard and other leading genealogy software support. I also pointed out that due to Reunion not supporting multimedia and quality assessments linked to citations, that data is discarded without warning, when one imports a GEDCOM.

After posting in the thread I viewed my post in context so I know it was there. A couple hours later I went back to see if there was a response and found my post had mysteriously disappeared!

I used my browser history to try to return to the page where I previously reviewed my post. Here’s what I got:

Missing Post on ReunionTalk Forum
Click to See Full Sized

It looked to me like the post had been hidden or removed!

I didn’t want to leave the original question unanswered so I wrote another followup post to the tread. This time I made a screenshot showing the post appearing after submission:

Missing Followup ReunionTalk Post
Click to See Full Sized

Within minutes this post too disappeared!

It appeared that anything I posted pointing out deficiencies in Reunion or censorship of posts was being removed.

I was interested in helping to improve Reunion even though I stopped using it—primarily because of the deficiencies I was describing in the posts that went missing. I can only conclude that Leister Productions, Inc. doesn’t want constructive criticism on their forum. While I respect their right to control what is being published on their website I also avoid wasting my time.

I tell you all this because I want you to know two things:

1. You won’t be seeing anything new from me on ReunionTalk

2. You aren’t getting all sides of discussions on ReunionTalk


  1. Keith says

    Hopefully Leister Pro at least made a note of the feedback before they deleted it. Otherwise, it’s an unintelligent move on their part. I can understand why they wouldn’t want anything negative on a forum they control, but there are lots of other avenues to leave constructive criticism. My impression is that Reunion keeps falling further behind its competitors. They have never provided very good GEDCOM support, which is inexcusable. Reunion 10 finally includes web searching, but otherwise no integration with web family trees like Family Tree Maker, MacFamilyTree, or any number of PC products. Now that Family Tree Maker for Mac is working reliably, I use it almost exclusively.

  2. Louise L Kingston says

    very disturbing!
    Sadly, since that is the program I use, also explains why you have written much on this site about Reunion.

  3. Dan says

    That’s too bad. I’ve been a loyal Reunion user for years but it I’ve been exploring other options, mainly due to the fact that you cannot link unrelated persons (witnesses, godparents, etc) to individuals.

    What do you suggest as an alternative to Reunion?

  4. wcmcdermott says

    Hi Ben,
    As a very long time (non-power) Reunion user I find your observations disturbing. As with any organization, receiving an unfavorable critique, while unfortunate, should be responded to, investigated, possibly with a revised response and if warranted, acted upon; in that order. Always responding and giving your position/status is crucial.
    Deleting your posts was obviously not the proper response and does a disservice to all users.
    I have found your site (particularly the videos) helpful since signing up. While you will be staying off their blog, I am hopeful you will not loose focus on Reunion in your overall focus and reports going forward.

  5. Bonnie Samuel says

    This is disturbing! While I like and use Reunion because I’m a MAC user, always interested in other software that has features I like. May I ask,Ben, what software you are using instead of Reunion? FTM for Mac or? Thanks much.

    • Ben Sayer says

      My primary program is now Family Tree Maker for Mac 3. I also use GEDitCOM II for some projects.

      • Judy Tuccinardi says

        I am looking at GEDitCOM II but it hasn’t been updated in 2 years. I am not sure about a program that the developer has abandoned. But I am very unhappy with how you were treated by the folks at Reunion. I have used Reunion for years and years and more. I am thinking of Family Tree Maker….

        • Ben Sayer says

          Hi Judy. GEDitCOM II is still in active development. A new beta of version 2.0 was just released yesterday.

  6. Carole says

    I am really disheartened by Leister Pro. I have communicated my concerns about citations to them. Their resistance to become compliant with either CMOS of Evidence Explained has left me frustrated. I am thinking of switching to another program, but I can’t imagine what it would be or how much work would be involved. Look forward to your thoughts on this, Ben. And thanks for keeping us posted.

    • Ben Sayer says

      I’m thinking a series of articles on converting from Reunion 10 to Family Tree Maker for Mac 3 are in order. That way people who want to make that switch as I have can benefit from what I learned.

      • Nancy Martin says

        Ben Please seriously consider articles even videos on how to switch from Reunion 10 to Family Tree Maker for Mac. You are an excellent teacher. I would not be as far with my Reunion program as I am today with out your guidance!


      • Bonnie Samuel says

        Please do- that would be very helpful, Ben. While I do have and use FTM3, I just have not spent as much time on it as I have Reunion.
        FTM question- I find saving media found on Ancestry.com confusing, ie how to save the actual image of a record, not just index. The new FTM Mac seems to be better.

      • dixieau says

        Glad I found this thread, I have been floating between Reunion and FTMM3 and tonight after a failed treesync for the 3rd time in 2 weeks was going to switch back to Reunion and dropped by to refresh my memory on Sources, now I will persevere with FTMM. Please Ben, a series of articles on converting Reunion to FTMM3 would be wonderful!

        I do have one issue with FTM and maybe you could assist with that, when you want to add an existing media item to a person and get to the “Find Media Item” window, there is no ‘search’ option, you have to scroll through to find a person/category etc any quick options? Drag and drop would be awesome! I miss that the most!!

  7. says

    As a new Reunion user, I made a suggestion on the Wish List forum. I felt ‘put down’ by the official response, although other users responded with helpful ideas for work-arounds I could use to accomplish my goal. It is Reunion’s loss to no longer have your helpful presence & expertise in the forums.

    I will be watching with interest for your articles on converting to FTMM3 from Reunion.

    Your videos on using my Mac OS for Genealogy File & Folder Organization were incredibly helpful to me.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge & ideas!

  8. Beverly Buchanan says


    There is something very strange going on with the Reunion Forum. For two nights I tried to follow someone’s link. I had no intention of posting anything. I was taken to a site where I was asked to log in. I have logged in before, so I put in my user name and password and was thrown out. I was told that I had 5 tries before being locked out of another try for 15 minutes. I responded that I was trying to put in my user name and password, and was using the correct ones. Nothing worked. I tried again the next night (last night) but stopped after 3 tries. I received another message that someone had tried at least 5 times before being locked out. Now 3 isn’t “at least 5 times”. I got the same message as you did about not being authorized blah blah blah. I had gotten several strange messages so I just gave up since I wasn’t planning to post anyway. Both nights I was asked to type in the numbers that appeared. I did so, and asked my husband to verify that they were correct. He did so, but I received a message both times that they weren’t correct. My attempts aren’t serious, just strange. Yours are serious, and also very strange. I have no idea what games someone is playing, but something is going on. Just thought I’d share. It will be a shame to lose your expertise.


  9. Joan Foster says

    I am dreadfully sorry about all this, Ben. Perhaps you should write to Frank Leister himself about all this. Perhaps the posts were deleted in error, or he did not know about them. It is all a shame, as you have done so much for Reunion. It may be that the Leister folks are, in fact, working on some of the issues you raised (as you know, they do not discuss what they are doing).

    However, I sincerely hope that your series of Reunion videos will remain available for those of us who do not wish to change. They have been very helpful to many, including me, and it would be too bad if they, and all the work they represent, are gone.

    I have, and use in part, a number of Mac genealogy databases, including FTMM3 (plus the occasional dip into PC’s Legacy and RootsMagic), and I like some for the features they do have, and am disappointed in them for the features they do not have, including Reunion. Still, Reunion, overall, so far remains best suited for me for my purposes, I do not, at present, intend to change over completely to something else. (If Keith Wilson had not died and work on his elegant iFamily had not been so severely interrupted, that might have run the closest second for me; I am watching Warwick’s work with it.)

    By the way, I actually did see your first post (answer) to Frans; I did not know it had been deleted until just now. However, the particular issues it addressed do not matter so much to me as they may to others. We each must find the one that suits our own needs the best. Please keep your Reunion videos available for users, even though it seems you are unlikely to be making others. I will watch for your FTMM# videos in the future. Best wishes, and many thanks, Joan

    • Ben Sayer says

      Hi Joan.

      Don’t worry, I haven’t even considered removing any existing Reunion videos.

      Well, it’s good to know someone else saw my post. I hope Frans did, as I wrote it in response to him.

      —-Ben >@<

  10. George says

    One you have forgot and need to check out is Heredis which adds alot of new and useful features. I keep hoping that Leister
    will step up and update their program, but it dosen’t seem to be happening. I believe they are losing alot of users and support
    due to lack of improvements of Reunion.
    Very sad, have been using Reunion for a long time and really hate the thought of having to change over to something else, but it almost has come to this point.

    • Ben Sayer says

      I haven’t forgotten Heredis. I simply haven’t mentioned it.
      Upon my initial look I was appalled by the source citation workflow–so much so that I won’t even bother reviewing it.

  11. Bonnie Samuel says

    Hi Ben , Been thinking about features of various programs. It seems some really emphasize the variety of printed tree options, which in forty years I’ve never used! (Have a grand old timer wall tree chart that I use for reference as I work). For some researchers, sources, reports, notes, media options are far more important. Ancestry, of course, is selling their memberships and they are certainly not alone in hyping various online options for finding kinfolk.

    So, Ben, would you share what you see as FTMM’s genealogical research attributes. I agree that they have really improved the program since first MAC edition, but what do you see as most valuable now and long term with FTMM? Thanks much, Bonnie

  12. Sheila says

    Ben, I also had my posting deleted by Leisterpro many years ago and from that time on I have never posted anything. They do not like any posting negative to them. It has been obvious to me for several years they are falling behind and not really listening to the users. Multimedia and citations should be their top priority. It’s too bad, because I know members must be leaving. I have used Reunion from Version 1 and this last version I really dislike, but I’m sure others like it. Each of us must decide what is best for us. I am hoping that you do your FTM videos soon on the easiest way to transfer Reunions files. I see that FTM3 is on sale until 5/11 so thought I would download a trial and see how I like it.

  13. Maureen O'Neill says

    Sorry to hear of the issues regarding Reunion and Leister. Not acceptable, as far as I am concerned. Reunion seems to work well for me for what I use it for. However, I am not a very skilled genealogist or tech person. The videos and discussion that you have provided have be a great help to me. I will take a look at FTM3 but not sure if I will make the switch.

  14. Bonnie Samuel says

    Ben, wondered if you have created Practical Citation format for Roots Magic?
    How would you compare Roots Magic to FTMM3 in terms of data, sourcing, notes, reports?
    thanks much.

  15. Bonnie Samuel says

    Scratch my last question on RootsMagic vs FTMM3….spent time today going through both. FTMM3 fully accepted the transfer of my extensive notes into their note fields, whereas no evidence of notes in RM via Crossover for MAC! That and a couple of other areas lacking. So I think FTMM3 will be my new home! I look forward to the Practical Citation set up for FTMM as well. Thanks!

  16. Steve Blackburn says

    Ben, prompted in part by your comments above, but also by my general dissatisfaction with some aspects of Reunion, I have purchased FTMM3 and transferred my data. There are some aspects that I really like, but at present I am finding the relationship between sources, citations, and related media somewhat confusing. Any video you are able to produce regarding this aspect of the move from Reunion would be great.

    Incidentally one apparently negative aspect (for me) is that I use Dropbox to store my media and data file so that I can share it between two macs. With Reunion this was fine, but with FTTM it appears to take absolutely ages to upload data to dropbox – even if I have made no changes and have only been viewing. This would appear to be due to the fact that the FTTM data file is 5 times bigger than the reunion file, and that it saves its backup file to the same location as the original – thus effectively making the dropbox upload ten times bigger.

  17. Steve Blackburn says

    Re my second comment above, I have been able to rectify this by turning off the Autobackup feature. This allows me to specify where the backup should be saved, and by avoiding the dropbox folder the speed has increased dramatically.

  18. says

    I’ve also had forum posts removed. Like yours, they were critique of some limitations in the citation system and a request for support of the Showan Mills system. I also did not like that you have to purchase both a iPhone and an iPad version of their mobile app; this was likewise removed.

    Oh well. Reunion is stuck in the 1990s and doesn’t really seem to have much desire to move on. I’d go to MacFamilyTree 7 (which I do own), but its citation system is even worse. On the plus side, it handles non-Eurpean names far better

  19. Teresa says

    I experienced exactly the same thing a couple of months ago on the Forum. I had posted a question about an issue I had with syncing (people got lost and links got corrupted), and within 2 hours my post had vanished. They did contact me by direct email to explain what the potential problem was, but I was deeply disturbed by the fact that my original post was deleted. It also gave the impression they wanted no negative comments on the Forum.

    @Ben – you mentioned you were thinking of writing some articles about exporting from Reunion to FTM. I would also like to add my voice to the other supporters of this idea – I have looked at your video about exporting from Reunion 9, but I’m guessing there are some major differences with Reunion 10 and FTMM3.

  20. Bill Berry says

    I am a Mac user. I tried Reunion, but I didn’t like it. I use RootsMagic with Crosseover. It is verry good,and I can link with LDS Family Search/Family Tree.
    Thanks Bill

    • Ben Sayer says

      Hi Bill! Thanks for sharing that.

      I’ve used RootsMagic 6 with CrossOver Mac and RootsMagic 6 and 7 with MacBridge for RootsMagic. They mostly work, but there are some limitations. Perhaps an article (and video?) are in order.

      Have you had any troubles with RootsMagic under CrossOver Mac that you’d like to share?

      With best regards,

      —-Ben >@<

  21. Kathy Cardoza says

    Ben ….. I have used RootsMagic 7 under MacBridge. I think RM is a wonderful program but using it under MacBridge gives two problems that I can no longer live with:

    1) The mysterious “floating point error” appears too often and can appear each time you leave RM to use another program such as Safari. When you get back to RM, you have the error and any work you had open and not saved, is lost. It gets pretty annoying! Many users have complained about this but RM seems unable to fix this.

    2) Another problem is the inability to reset font sizes on some of the windows. I had to use a little zoom utility I have on my Mac to be able to see and edit in these windows.

    There are other limitations but overall, I think it is a great program and I look forward to the native Mac version that is promised ….. of course, who knows when that might be?

    So, meanwhile, I switched back to Reunion 10. I really dislike it and the work I had to do to clean up my data and sources, but it seems to be the best option for me at this time. I have tried most programs, looking for that perfect one: TMG, Legacy 8, RM7 in Windows; Reunion, Heredis 2014, Mac Family Tree 7, FTMM3, TNG,and RM under MacBridge. They all have something good to offer. I might consider FTMM3 if it had more customization available and if it imported my notes without those pesky spaces everywhere you don’t want them!

    Right now, I’m busily converting my sources in Reunion over to your Practical Citation format. I really like the idea of my sources being gedcom compliant so when I do this “app hopping,” all my source data gets transferred properly. Thank you!


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