Columbia Journalism Review: Erasing history

Columbia Journalism Review: Erasing history. “In the 21st century, more and more information is ‘born digital’ and will stay that way, prone to decay or disappearance as servers, software, Web technologies, and computer languages break down. The task of internet archivists has developed a significance far beyond what anyone could have imagined in 2001, when the Internet Archive first cranked up the Wayback Machine and began collecting Web pages; the site now holds more than 30 petabytes of data dating back to 1996. (One gigabyte would hold the equivalent of 30 feet of books on a shelf; a petabyte is a million of those.) Not infrequently, the Wayback Machine and other large digital archives, such as those in the care of the great national and academic libraries, find themselves holding the only extant copy of a given work on the public internet. This responsibility is increasingly fraught with political, cultural, and even legal complications.”

Wired: How Snapchat Is Sending #metoo Down The Memory Hole

Wired: How Snapchat Is Sending #metoo Down The Memory Hole . “Just a decade ago, email’s technical and social protocols seemed permanent and universal; now, like countless technological institutions before them, their once-assured dominance has been replaced by an unstable messaging universe with none of the permanence and searchability of the email archives of old. Most of it is mobile-only, which prevents its contents from living on PC hard drives for years. What’s more, a growing subset of Snapchat-inspired messaging apps is deliberately ephemeral, with communications self-destructing after 24 hours or even immediately upon receipt.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Archiving the alternative press threatened by wealthy buyers

Freedom of the Press Foundation: Archiving the alternative press threatened by wealthy buyers. “Freedom of the Press Foundation is launching an online archives collection in partnership with Archive-It, a service developed by the Internet Archive to help organizations preserve online content. Our collection, focusing on news outlets we deem to be especially vulnerable to ‘billionaire problem,’ aims to preserve sites in their entirety before their archives can be taken down or manipulated.”

Wired: The EPA Website Is ‘still Updating’ Climate Change Info

Wired: The EPA Website Is ‘still Updating’ Climate Change Info. “In the year he’s been in office, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has personally directed his webmasters to remove climate-related content on the website, scrubbing material that doesn’t fit his pro-business goals of rolling back regulations and casting doubt on the science of global warming and climate change. Under Pruitt’s orders, EPA managers removed pages on climate change science and information about the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel burning plants.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google Braced for England’s First `Right to Be Forgotten’ Trial

Bloomberg Quint: Google Braced for England’s First `Right to Be Forgotten’ Trial. “Google Inc. is bracing itself for its first battle in England’s High Court over the so-called ‘right to be forgotten.’ Two anonymous people want the search engine to take down links to information about their old convictions. Both describe themselves in their court filings as businessmen. One was convicted of conspiracy to account falsely, and the other was convicted of conspiracy to intercept communications, but those convictions are spent, judge Matthew Nicklin told a pre-trial hearing Thursday.”

Tim Bray: Google Memory Loss

Oh man, is this important. From Tim Bray: Google Memory Loss. “I think Google has stopped in­dex­ing the old­er parts of the We­b. I think I can prove it. Google’s com­pe­ti­tion is do­ing bet­ter. Ev­i­dence · This isn’t just a proof, it’s a rock-n-roll proof. Back in 2006, I pub­lished a re­view of Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll An­i­mal al­bum. Back in 2008, Brent Sim­mons pub­lished That New Sound, about The Clash’s Lon­don Calling. Here’s a chal­lenge: Can you find ei­ther of these with Google? Even if you read them first and can care­ful­ly con­jure up exact-match strings, and then use the ‘site:’ pre­fix? I can’t.”

New York Times: How Much Has ‘Climate Change’ Been Scrubbed From Federal Websites? A Lot.

New York Times: How Much Has ‘Climate Change’ Been Scrubbed From Federal Websites? A Lot.. “Nearly a year into the Trump administration, mentions of climate change have been systematically removed, altered or played down on websites across the federal government, according to a report made public Wednesday.”