Why should the Internet archive be protected?

The Internet Archive is 25 years old and is best known for its pioneering role in archiving the Internet through the Wayback Machine, which allows users to see what websites looked like in the past, and aims to preserve materials documenting the cultural heritage of society.

People and organizations remove content from the web for a variety of reasons, sometimes as a result of changing Internet culture, such as the recent shutdown of Yahoo Answers.


It can also be the result of following best practices for website design, when a website is updated, for example, the previous version is overwritten unless it is archived.


Web archiving is the process of collecting, preserving, and providing continuous access to information on the Internet. This work is often performed by librarians and archivists, with the help of automated technology.


Web crawlers are programs that index web pages to make them available through search engines or for long-term preservation. The Internet Archive, a non-profit organization, uses thousands of computer servers to save multiple digital copies of these pages which require more than 70 petabytes of data.

Funded by donations, grants, and payments for its digitization services, more than 750 million web pages are captured daily at the Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive.


Why archiving?


In 2018, President Donald Trump erroneously claimed via Twitter that Google promoted on its homepage President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, but not his. Archived versions of the Google homepage have proven to have highlighted Trump's State of the Union address, in the same way, using Several news outlets that have the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine as a source for validating these types of claims since screenshots alone can easily be changed.


A 2019 report from the Cloud Center for Digital Journalism examining digital archiving practices and the policies of newspapers, magazines, and other news producers, interviews revealed that many media professionals either do not have the resources to archive their work or misunderstand digital archiving by equating it with a backup.


When a news story disappeared from Gawker a year after the publication closed, the Freedom of the Press Foundation became concerned about what might happen when wealthy individuals buy websites with the intent of deleting or censoring the archive and partnered with the Internet Archive to launch a web-based archive group focused on preserving Web archives of weak news outlets and dissuading billionaires from buying such material to censor it.


Archiving sites that document social justice issues such as Black Lives Matter help explain these movements to people now and in the future.


Archiving government websites enhances transparency and accountability. Especially during transition periods, government websites are subject to deletion as political parties change.


In 2017, the Library of Congress announced that it would not archive every tweet, due to Twitter's growth as a communication tool. Twitter provides the Library of Congress with tweet transcripts, not shared photos or videos. Instead of mass compilation, the Library of Congress now archives only tweets of great national importance.


Archived sites that document Internet culture and history, such as the Geographical Cities Gallery, are not only interesting to view but illustrate the ways in which early sites were created and used by individuals.


Archives of citizens


Internet archive is a huge task, and librarians and archivists can't do it alone Anyone can be a citizen who works on archives and preserves history with the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine Save Page Now allows anyone to archive a single public web page Freely, keep in mind that some websites prevent web crawling and archiving through special coding or by requiring you to log in to the site, this may be due to sensitive content or the personal preference of the web developer.


Local cultural heritage institutions, such as libraries, archives, and museums, actively archive the Internet. Over 800 institutions use Archive-It, a tool from the Internet Archive, to create archived web collections. At the University of Dayton, we curate collections related to our Catholic and Marian heritage, from Catholic blogs to Mary's stories in the news.


Through spontaneous event clusters, Archive-It partners with organizations and individuals to create collections of event-related web content, capturing at-risk content during times of crisis.


Similarly, it created the Community Networks Program, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to help public libraries create collections of archived web content relevant to local communities.


According to the report, today's sites are the historical evidence of tomorrow, but only if they are archived, but if they are lost, important information about corporate and government decisions, modern communication methods such as social media, and social movements with a large presence on the Internet will be lost with it.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All