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Don’t do this. Please don’t do this. The Wayback Machine is one of the only records of history we have on the internet, often the only way to look back and see what has been. It’s invaluable for that—and if your site is to be any part of the internet’s history, it should be available there too.



This fundamentalism is unhelpful.

What if people don’t want to be part of internet history? It’s hard enough to be anonymous, or even to move on from mistakes, as it is.


Then why make a site? That's like saying you don't want any photos of you to exist but you've been outside for years while people where making photos and now you're telling them to delete those.


So, what you’re saying is that a decision you make as, say, a 17 year old is one that you must stand by for the rest of your life?

And, yes, I get it, there’s more than the IA but it’s a point of principle for me. I’m not talking about erasing newspaper articles but rather the blog a kid posts when they are naive.


> So, what you’re saying is that a decision you make as, say, a 17 year old is one that you must stand by for the rest of your life?

That's basically the way it is anyway. If you go out in public (physically or virtually), you've lost some control over how long-reaching your actions might be. If you do something stupid in public, you can't prevent people from posting their videos/photos of it, or just talking about you. The internet is no different. While you can get your stuff removed from some places, you have no control over it generally speaking. Somebody might have screenshots for example.


In most parts of the world you are entitled to privacy even if you are outside, and you can demand photos/videos taken of you without your consent to be deleted.

Plus, just because I have a website, that doesn't make it's content open domain, for some business to copy all it's contents and publish them without my knowledge.


>you can demand photos/videos taken of you without your consent to be deleted. //

Can you name maybe five large countries where that's true? It's not true in USA, nor UK AFAIK. I understand it's not true in Germany either.

So, I only know contradictions, interested to hear. China and Russia, don't seem likely to have such laws - maybe they're common in South America, Africa?


Tempting as it is to reduce everything to a binary, that's not how things work.


>So, what you’re saying is that a decision you make as, say, a 17 year old is one that you must stand by for the rest of your life?

Yes, that's why at ryanmercer.com I leave incredibly embarrassing LiveJournal posts up from high school in 2001.

That's who I was, in 2001, not necessarily now. Those are things I willingly and freely shared on the internet. Do they make me cringe... yes, do I wish I'd never have posted them... yes, but I did so they are there to document who I was, to document what a random teen thought during that period, if someone or a potential employer wants to old 2001 Ryan against 2019 Ryan then I don't want to have anything to do with them.


I do believe that it would be norm in near future. You can store photo and video for some time (for legal purposes mostly) but after that you would need to either obtain consent of everyone on them, remove the photo or edit it (replace real people with computer generated ones). The tech for the latter is basically already here.


How would that even work? My Flickr account has pictures of probably 10s of thousands of people with various degrees of identifiability. If someone really wants their photo deleted and they ask me nicely, I might very well do so. But I'm not going to delete my photos from public-facing sites just because there are people in them.


They asked politely, saying please, and not advocating for any kind of imposition. How is that fundamentalism?

I personally totally agree with the petition. And at the same time, I also think people should have the right to remove their mistakes. It's just that when they have no strong reason to remove a site, I'd rather people leave it there so history can be preserved.


Polite or not the previous commenter made a sweeping appeal based on their view of what is right and seemingly without acknowledging that there are legitimate reasons not to want to be a part of internet history.

If a person’s reason is more akin to a whim, then persuade them of the value of being a part of the record you want to see.


I read maguay's comment as an attempt to persuade, not a fundamentalist call that no one should do this.


Then don't be part of the internet.

That's like saying "what if people don't want to be part of human history?" Like it or not, unless a individual is completely inconsequential, they're part of history, and that should be preserved for future historians to dig through.

We have the capability to preserve untold amounts of data for the future - far more than any other time in history - and some of us are more worried about ensuring that they don't have a place at that table. It's so sad, honestly.


If you do not want to be part of internet history, you should not be part of the internet present.


Some people don’t want their site to be part of internet history, and that is a legitimate view.


>that is a legitimate view.

Why?


Think about personal correspondences of famous people before the internet.


But if it's online and not gated by login, it's explicitly public, unlike private correspondence.


In the UK taking a private copy of a website is a copyright infringement; doesn't matter if you publish it.

Your idea probably works in USA with Fair Use.


Could you back up this claim? Reading about fair dealing as it is called in UK law [0] leads me to believe otherwise, especially if the copy is used for archival purposes [1].

[0]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing_in_United_Kingd... [1]: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/...


The context was private individuals keeping copies.

There are some exceptions but they're not really pertinent here: You can make a transient copy, eg in order to view a website you might cache something. You can retain a copy of a TV show until you watch it - but can only watch once, and not with company. You can keep copies to facilitate workarounds for disabilities (but again you can use that for retention) ...

Registered archives can keep works so long as they're not accessible by the public.

Your second link, I wasn't totally aware of those changes. However, they don't seem especially pertinent. You're not allowed access to the whole copy of an archive copyright work. Private archives can't keep copies. Public archives can only do so when buying access is not feasible.

The private study requires you to be on a related official course of study, and the works used -- but only accessed in part -- have to be cited in the study results.

So, WBM isn't a UK public library and couldn't copy a UK served website legally for archive. A UK public archive could serve the pages, but only parts of them, and only to people physically in the building.

I think my summary was correct in context; detailed corrections welcome!


Fair Use permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances and takes into account a number of factors--including the amount of the original work that's used. So quoting a paragraph from a blog post to comment on it is almost certainly OK. An entire website? Probably not under most circumstances.


What about them?


Because it's _my_ site and I don't want it archived.


If you want full control over works you author, you should keep them to yourself. Publishing inherently gives up control, and the whole idea of copyright in the first place was to enrich the public domain after a period of exclusivity designed to incentivize production of new works.

This idea that copyright has anything to do with "control" is what has caused so much cultural loss. Please don't perpetuate that idea.


So don't publish it.


Though I somewhat sympathize with this view, there can be legitimate reasons for depublication. The Internet is deep and vast.

That said, removal may entail simply removing public access, rather than deleting archived content:

The Internet Archive may, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, remove certain content or disable access to content that appears to infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others.

https://help.archive.org/hc/en-us/articles/360004716091-Wayb...


Let's say you spend a few years building a site and then things change and you lose interest. You stop paying for hosting and let the domain drop?

Then someone catches the domain and recreates the site with your content, without your knowledge or permission. You're happy with this are you?


> Let's say you spend a few years building a site and then things change and you lose interest. You stop paying for hosting and let the domain drop?

> Then someone catches the domain and recreates the site with your content, without your knowledge or permission. You're happy with this are you?

What's to stop someone from doing that without the internet archive?


If the domain has dropped how are they going to find the content?


> What's to stop someone from doing that without the internet archive?

The law?


This is exactly my point.


Does the Wayback Machine actually delete the content it removes or does it just not make it available? In 200 years, when everyone involved is dead, there is far more of a case to be made to publish it than now.


Very good question.


There are MANY reasons to remove sites from there.


Ok, list a few then please.


One of my local bus companies just became the only company to run buses to the local university, after the one other bus company stopped operating in the area.

They've removed themselves from archive.org so now we can't easily show that they've more than doubled the cost of the annual student bus pass over the last few years.


1. Don't want their lives 'ruined' because of socially unacceptable tweets. 2. Don't want their citizens to know that they are actively committing genocide. 3. Countless other equally legitimate reasons for removing things from the public record. 4. I'm embarrassed. 5. I could loose money. 6. My reputation will be tarnished. 7. I don't want anyone to know that I a into 'x y and z.' 8. I was young and foolish.

Some actually legitimate reasons 1. Outed themselves as a minority which is now being persecuted. (too late, the state already has the evidence) 2. Need to remove a post that is actively agitating/acting as a focus point for some group that rises to the level of physical threats.

People, the internet is public. If you put up something on port 80 or 443, you have just published a book. You can't unpublish a book. I'm sorry if the affordances are shitty and the social media platforms intentionally mislead you into thinking that publishing is 'sharing,' but if you published it, you have to own it. You cannot unspeak, and if you do you or if a systems allows you to, then that is a fundamental violation of the social contract. If you fucked up, and want to appologise, or provide additional context, then by all means do so.

In cases where a tweet, post, etc. incites a brigade, there need to be ways to temporarily hide content, but if it is deleted forever, then there is a tempest in a teapot without any teapot for reference. Not that it will ever happen, but platforms like twitter should be held accountable for facilitating viral hatred and brigading, it would incentivize them to implement algorithms to damp the spread and to force additional context onto users before they are allowed to view a hot and bothered tweet (or similar). You must correctly answer these 10 questions about the context from which the author was speaking before you are allowed to retweet or even view this message. That might be a good compromise for 'surge' internet outrage.


> You cannot unspeak, and if you do you or if a systems allows you to, then that is a fundamental violation of the social contract.

There's no such social contract.


> 2. Need to remove a post that is actively agitating/acting as a focus point for some group that rises to the level of physical threats.

Mobs have short attention span and are mobilized by the newest controversy of the day. We're talking about recording history. You remove a bug from git, but you don't alter the entire history for it. You remove passwords from git, but you also change the current passwords.

There's no reason we can't 'fix' the present and record the past at the same time.


One example: Made comments as a young man on subjects, now don't agree with them. Or they can cost me the job.

Insulted Putin, or China, or MBS and now I need to go to their country


Privacy.

Don't want your picture taken all the time? Don't want everything you say recorded and archived? You might also not want everything you write to be archived. If you want control over your content, archives are a problem.


> Privacy.

> Don't want your picture taken all the time? Don't want everything you say recorded and archived? You might also not want everything you write to be archived. If you want control over your content, archives are a problem.

Good luck tracking down every company/user that has visited your page then. Any single one of them could be archivers. It's not hard to change a user agent to look like Google.

This is like arguing against archiving newspapers. If you explicitly publish it online for the world to see, you can't make people unsee it.


> Good luck tracking down every company/user that has visited your page then. Any single one of them could be archivers.

Could be, sure. And anyone could wear a hidden camera and secretly take your picture, or a wire and secretly record you.

If any of those undercover archivers re-publishes your content, send a DMCA notice and sue them. Where copyright infringement is a crime, report them.

There's a cultural component to this, I believe. Americans seem to feel that pictures, recordings etc taken in public are fair game, continental Europe has a different stance. Even in public, you can't take pictures of ordinary people and publish them (unless they're part of an extraordinary event).


>>Even in public, you can't take pictures of ordinary people and publish them (unless they're part of an extraordinary event).

I don't know which European country you have in mind specifically, arguably some are more strict on this than others(Germany, Austria) but most places you can take and publish pictures taken in public places without asking for permission. It's only an issue if someone is specifically a subject of your picture - so a wide shot of street is absolutely fine, but a photo zoomed in on someone's face is not, even if they were in a public space.


True, it's usually about being identifiable. Italy, France and the Netherlands require model release as well if you want to publish those pictures if I remember correctly. I don't know how Eastern Europe handles these cases.

Some also allow news content in general, even if the picture itself isn't noteworthy (i.e. illustrating a shopping mall vs somebody standing next to a politician being attacked with a cake), but I don't know about the intricacies.


At least in the US, model releases are strictly for photos used commercially (e.g. in advertising or marketing materials). Editorial use, which includes just putting it up on a blog or whatever, doesn't have restrictions.


> Americans seem to feel that pictures, recordings etc taken in public are fair game

I'm European, but I fail to see how anybody could have any expectation of privacy when in a public place. You either outlaw camera's completely or you have to accept that you might end up in the background of somebodies photograph. I don't think outlawing camera's is realistic.


> You either outlaw camera's completely or you have to accept that you might end up in the background of somebodies photograph.

You don't need to outlaw cameras any more than you need to outlaw knives to keep people from stabbing others. But as mentioned, there's a fundamental difference in the idea of privacy, I suppose. It can be understood as "something that happens in a non-public place" or it can be understood as a larger idea that you have a certain right to not be surveilled, recorded and stalked.


My point is that if cameras are not outlawed, then you can be photographed in public by accident, just because you happened to walk into a shot or happened to be in the background when some tourists wanted to photograph something. There's a difference between you can't photograph me while I'm in public and you can't harass me. Its not the act of walking in the same direction and in close proximity to the person that makes following them in public stalking, so you don't need to ban public photography of other people in order to prevent them form being surveilled, recorded and stalked.

I guess that I find the idea that you should expect privacy when in a public space kind of strange (its right there in the word: public), but that doesn't mean that I think its ok for someone to follow you around recording you (but not because of the actual act of being recorded, but rather because of the targeted nature).

Similarly, I think passive recording (ie non-targeted surveillance) of public spaces should be allowed in and of itself, but that its the use that dictates whether its abusive or not (ie if its done so that people can be identified, then that seems similar to me to following someone around, but if its done for the backdrop of a movie or art project, or its done to study foot traffic on a street.. basically there are many reasons which aren't abusive).


Then dont publish and share your pictures and conversations with everyone. Privacy goes out the window the moment you share stuff with everyone on your own. If you want control over your content you need access control. Its the difference of actually publishing pictures of yourself online instead of being photographed in public. Privacy covers the second not the first.




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