MIT Technology Review: The race to save the first draft of coronavirus history from internet oblivion. “According to Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive’s founder, his organization is already collecting about 1 billion URLs a day across the web. Archiving the pandemic means trying to identify and collect the pages their ordinary efforts might otherwise overlook, relying on a network of library professionals and members of the public: local and international public health pages, petitions, resources for medical professionals trying to fight covid-19, and accounts from those who have had the virus. It’s not easy. ‘The average life of a web page is only 100 days before it’s changed or deleted,’ he says.
Washington Post: USDA reposts animal welfare records it purged from its website in 2017. “Tuesday’s move made available unredacted reports for nearly 10,000 zoos, circuses, breeders, research labs and Tennessee walking horse shows that were publicly available on Jan. 30, 2017 — days before they were purged — as well as those generated since, the department said. The reports, based on unannounced inspections, can be used by the agency to build cases against facilities that violate animal welfare regulations, and animal protection groups had long used them to call attention to operations they said treated animals inhumanely.”
ABC News: Veterans group: Pentagon broke agreement to reopen database. “The Pentagon has reneged on its agreement to reopen a vast records database that helps service members who are appealing a less-than-honorable discharge, a veterans group said Tuesday.”
BetaNews: Reminder: You have slightly longer to download data from Yahoo Groups — but you still need to move fast!. “The first deadline issued by Yahoo was December 14. This has come and gone, and the new deadline — unless there are any further extensions — is the end of this month. January 31 is just two-and-a-half weeks away, so if you’ve been putting off making a request for a data download, you really need to get moving.”
ARRL: Yahoo Groups Shutdown has Ham Radio Interest Groups Seeking to Save Content. “Web application developer Andy Majot, K5QO, of Sellersburg, Indiana, took the initiative to download archives of Yahoo Groups devoted to individual ham radio gear and uploaded them to his personal website. ‘I hope to have them hosted in perpetuity for future hams to use,’ Majot told ARRL. ‘It should be noted that I backed up groups regardless of whether they are living on in other platforms; I wanted to snapshot the groups as they were on Yahoo prior to their deletion.'”
Salon: Federal Toxmap shutters, raising the ire of pollution researchers. “Earlier this year, with little explanation, the NLM announced that it would be ‘retiring’ the Toxmap website on Dec. 16, 2019. The library did not respond directly to queries on Monday about what was meant by “retiring,” but by Tuesday morning, the Toxmap website had been taken down and visitors to the former URL were met with a message acknowledging the closure and pointing visitors to other potential sources of information.” Toxmap was an online app that aggregated pollution data from government agencies.
Search Engine Journal: Yahoo Extends Deadline for Deletion of Yahoo Groups Data. “Yahoo is extending the date that it plans to delete all Yahoo Groups data, which was originally scheduled to happen this week. It was announced in October that all content on Yahoo Groups would be deleted by December 14. Now, Yahoo says it will not delete Groups data until January 31, 2020.”
Japan Times: Japanese court orders Google to erase search results on man’s arrest. “A court ordered Google Inc. on Thursday to erase news search results about an arrest of a man who claimed that showing information about the case that was later dropped was an invasion of privacy.”
NPR: Internet Historians Mourn Loss Of Cultural Record As Yahoo Prepares To Delete Groups. “Yahoo Groups was once a place where people turned to find out what was happening in their communities. Then Facebook, Tumblr and other sites came along, making Yahoo Groups obsolete. So earlier this fall, Verizon, which now owns Yahoo, announced it will delete the archives of every Yahoo Group. That was supposed to happen this coming Saturday, but Verizon just announced it will extend the deadline until next month. NPR’s Neda Ulaby reports Internet historians and activists are scrambling.” I can’t find any other mentions of the deadline being extended at the moment, but I’ll keep an eye out. And why am I banging on about this? Because it’s going to happen again. And again. And again. And somebody has to care.
Boing Boing: GIF site Gfycat announces mass deletions, threatens Archive Team with lawsuit. “Gfycat is a site that people upload GIFs to so they can share them with other people reliably. Used most conspicuously to host memes, clips from other media, and animated porn, it announced Wednesday that it was planning to permanently delete old, anonymously-posted images within days. Archive Team, a web preservation initiative coordinated by Jason Scott, set about archiving the site’s soon-to-vanish content. So Gfycat’s CEO, Dan McEleney, threatened it with a lawsuit, describing archival of the memes it hosts as a ‘denial of service attack’ and demanding compensation.”
Columbia Journalism Review: Preserving work in a time of vanishing archives. “‘NOTHING DISAPPEARS ON THE INTERNET,’ people like to say, but journalists know that’s not necessarily true. Articles frequently disappear when online publications shutter or restructure. The internet is more like an Etch-a-Sketch than a stone engraving—over time, some marks endure, but the rest are swept from the canvas.”
The Gazette: Gazette policy guides removing minor crime stories from website. “The Gazette has been receiving an increasing number of requests from people we’ve written stories about who say they’re being impacted long after charges were dropped or their court case has been completed. Whether it’s a job search, housing or growing kids Googling their parents’ names, many find it difficult to fully put the incident behind them. We have put together a series of criteria that we’ll use to consider removing articles about non-felony and non-violent criminal offenses from our website.”
Internet Archive: The Wayback Machine’s Save Page Now is New and Improved. “Every day hundreds of millions of web pages are archived to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Tens of millions of them submitted by users like you using our Save Page Now service. You can now do that in a way that is easier, faster and better than ever before.”
Internet Archive: The Wayback Machine: Fighting Digital Extinction in New Ways. “The average web page might last three months before it’s altered or deleted forever. You never know when access to the information on these web pages is going to be needed. It might be three months from now; it might be three decades. That’s how the Wayback Machine serves—making history by saving history. Now, the Wayback Machine is fighting digital extinction in brand new ways.”
Tucson Sentinel: Tucson Citizen archive back from the dead — ‘such as it is’. “After vanishing at the beginning of the year, a small fraction of the former online archive of the Tucson Citizen has been restored — but more than 200,000 stories are still unavailable. The bare-bones remnants of the Citizen’s archive vanished from the Internet in January, and corporate staff gave conflicting accounts about whether hundreds of thousands of news stories would ever be accessible again.”