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So what is this all about? First of all, the Freedom Ring is a web ring. If you aren't sure what a web ring is, webring.org will provide an explanation.

In any case, I used to be (in 1997) a member of the "Freedom Ring." (side note - right now the "Freedom Ring" claims that they are not adding new members in 1998, but new sites were added in March 1998 - even though the Freedom Ring manager was still claiming that sites were not being added. Hmmm......) When I joined the, *ahem* "Freedom Ring", these were the rules:

"All sites dealing with personal freedoms are welcome to join. Commercial sites and personal homepages are both welcome. Sites dealing with more focused ideas are also encouraged to join. (examples: Freethought, Libertarianism, Individualism, Objectivism, Extropianism, etc.) Joining the ring does not imply that you agree with everything on the other sites in the ring. "
Freedom Thing So, I signed up for the ring, and my politics page was accepted to the Freedom Ring. Then, without notifying me, the ring manager removed my site from the ring. I found this out by accident when I tried to follow the ring from my page, and it didn't work properly. Since I was not notified that my site was removed from the ring, this meant that my site STILL had the code there, effectively ADVERTISING the Freedom Ring while gaining NO benefit from doing so.

So I e-mailed the ring manager asking him why I was removed, if there was a problem with my site, etc. No response. I e-mailed again. No response. So I re-submitted my site. I was deleted from the ring queue without notification. So I e-mailed and asked again. No response. So I submitted my site AGAIN and I was removed AGAIN.

Since the ring manger refused to answer my e-mails, I asked a few people who were on the freedom ring if they had any idea what was going on. One of the girls on the ring e-mailed the Ring Manager and he answered her e-mail. Following is what he said:

"Some pages were removed from the ring due to content problems. Those include pages that are too extreme (militias, etc.) and those that are opposed to a woman's right to choose. Members didn't feel that those type of pages fit in well with the freedom ring's objectives"
Apparently, the ring manager changed the ring terms without notifying any of the members. Specifically, he removed any sites with pro-life information on them.

In October 1997, quite a while after my site was removed, the ring manger added the following lines to the web ring rules:

"Some sites will not be added to the ring because of content (or a lack thereof) on the pages. Anti-choice pages and others seeking such things as the overthrow of government through violent means do not fit in with the ring's purpose."
Now, I will agree that the ring manager has the right to run the ring however he chooses, since it is his web ring. However, I, and others, have a problem with the way he went about eliminating certain sites from this "freedom" ring. I run two web rings myself, and I realize that not every site that applies can be accepted to the ring. However, I would never remove a site and NOT tell the person, or ignore their e-mails. THAT is rude and cowardly, and certainly contrary to the idea of the "Freedom" Ring.

This is not an issue of pro-life vs. pro-choice. This is an issue of common courtesy, and the fact that a ring which claims to support "freedom" kicks people off who don't agree with certain views without the courtesy of explanation. And I have to question why the ring manager, if he is so offended by the pro-life view, didn't mind the fact that I had the web ring code on my page after he booted me off. I guess he didn't mind an "anti-choice" site advertising his web ring!! I also question the logic of him eliminating "anti-choice" sites on the basis that they are "anti-freedom" yet he does not feel that sites advocating gun-control are anti-freedom. Sites calling for the government to ban guns are allowed on the ring.

Some people might say, "Oh - you're just mad because you got kicked off the ring - no one else cares about this" Well, that's incorrect. There are people who have since left the ring voluntarily after what happened, and other sites have been booted off, just like mine. Below are some of the responses people had when they found out about this, as well as other sites who were kicked off.

Other people who were removed from the "Freedom" ring without being told!

Other Comments

If the ring manager had bothered to answer me and explain things when he eliminated my site, I wouldn't have made this page. However, the lack of response leads me to believe that the Freedom Ring does not promote "free thought" unless you agree with all the ring manager's personal views. In addition, if he is so strong about his beliefs, why didn't he have the courage to answer my e-mail? Unless of course, he can't back up his rationale. And how odd... the sites that were added in 1998 - the same time the ring manager was claiming that he wasn't adding any new sites, were very, very pro-choice sites. Gosh - what a coincidence! "Freedom Ring" - what a joke!

Is the ring really promoting "Free Thought"? I think NOT! In addition, if you want to e-mail the Freedom Ring Manager about this, good luck. He took his e-mail address off the page, which is amazing - I mean, what if someone has a question about the ring? I guess he doesn't want to hear anyone's questions or suggestions. You can always try rpcman@california.com which was the e-mail he used to have posted. Don't expect a response though, unless, of course, you agree with him.

Also, why not check out the list of sites currently on the "Freedom" Ring

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