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Internet Archive will in future show fact checks and background information

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There is a lot on the Internet, including many that are questionable – that is why the Internet Archive has made it its business to make corrective information available on some archived websites. In some cases, this can be background information to put misleading statements into context; in other cases, it is fact-checking that is intended to correct earlier false statements. The Internet Archive presents its new project in a blog post.



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As Mark Graham writes in his blog post, the Internet Archive has begun adding links to such annotations on a webpage’s saved snapshots when a user of the Wayback Machine – the search engine used to browse the archive – comes across a questionable page. The archived website remains unchanged, only a yellow highlighted note is displayed between the header with the search engine information and the snapshot of the website.

In future, the Wayback Machine will display fact checks or background information on an archived website with a yellow bar.

(Image: Internet Archive / archive.org)

This additional information comes partly from various fact-checking institutions and partly from the websites concerned themselves if they later corrected their own representations or withdrew them with justification.

Graham emphasizes that they want to continue to preserve the ‘digital history’, but are also aware of the problem of providing access to false or misleading statements from a wide variety of sources. The hope that the links to additional information will give users of the Wayback Machine more context to better understand the content.

The blog post gives three examples in which contextual information is displayed: For example, a link to the fact checkers of Politifact, which correct a statement in a CNN report on the debate about the US law on patient protection and affordable care – also known as “Obamacare” ; a link to a report by Graphika exposing a text on indymedia.uk as part of a disinformation campaign; as well as a post on medium.com that was withdrawn by the website itself for violating the rules on Covid-19 reporting.

The Internet Archive works with the following organizations to contextualize its archived content: FactCheck.org, Check Your Fact, Lead Stories, Politifact, Washington Post Fact-Checker, AP News Fact Check, USA Today Fact Check, Graphika, Stanford Internet Observatory and Our.news. The blog post does not provide any information about the scope of the links or the number of documents already viewed.


(tiw)

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