New Media and Democracy: Wayback Machine
Date Created: September 23, 2011  Date Modified: April 9, 2012

I love archive.org, I go there an nab rights-free media all the time, and their wayback machine is a very useful tol for web designers and administrators to compare UI/UX changes over a long period of time–I used this many times when working at UNDA to highlight usability and design improvements I implemented (and once to recover a “missing” page, but thats another story…

However I never expected, possibly out of a narrow-mindset; that wayback would be defending our free expression of ideas, from Graham Readfearn (An Onymous Lefty):

A few days ago, when I was researching this piece for DeSmogBlog about the questionable coverage of climate change science by The Australian newspaper, I found that none of the links to my old News Ltd blog – GreenBlog – were working.
To be precise, the links worked, but there was no content on the pages. Just a white screen where about 650 posts and 14,000 comments used to be.
The record of an online blog session with then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd? Gone. The full Q&A with former UN general secretary Kofi Annan? Gone. My catalogue of critiques of News Ltd’s climate denial bloggers, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt? All gone.

Obviously News Ltd’s editorial guidelines decided that the particular content did not reflect the values and opinions of Rupert Murdoch so they 404’ed it. But wayback, being impartial (as I am aware the crawlers do not hold any political opinion, but correct me if I am wrong) has saved some of the content–and even discussion of the above.

Kudos to wayback for protecting our political speach, lets just hope they dont end up permanb& when the cleanfeed kicks in. Of course its not just the media moguls who have editorial discression over the tubez, Google themselves have been known to remove content without explanation, remember to read the ToS.

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