The digital library Internet Archive has introduced a fact-checking and context feature to Wayback Machine pages to explain why they were removed. The San Francisco based non-profit has tied up with various fact-checking organizations to link up the cause of removal of a certain webpage to their Wayback Machine page. In a blog published on 30 October, Mark Graham wrote that they are focused on their mission to preserve “digital history,” but they “recognize the issues around providing access to false and misleading information coming from different sources” and hence the recent provision.
Now opening up dead webpages will carry a yellow banner at the top, explaining why they were taken down. IA’s other pages will also carry the banner that will have the name of the body that conducted the fact check.
If a page is found to be a part of a disinformation campaign, the banner will say so, and the Internet Archive is working on including links to research reports by institutes to make their patrons better understand the reason. The post also included a report that was subsequently removed by IA based on a violation of the Covid-19 Content Policy.
The blog also announced the names of the fact-checkers they are working with to secure the archived web pages on Wayback Machine. These are FactCheck.org, Check Your Fact, Lead Stories, Politifact, Washington Post Fact-Checker, AP News Fact Check, USA Today Fact Check, Graphika, Stanford Internet Observatory Our.news.
According to its official website, the Internet Archive offers free universal access to books, movies, and music, along with 486 billion archived web pages. It has varied data on topics related to religion, wars, television programs, and university syllabus. Users can find links to hip hop mixtapes along with judgments given by the US Federal Court.