Sunday, August 30, 2020

The duplicitous Wayback Machine.

The Wayback Machine (WBM) would have you believe it's a faithful repository of web content. It's the go-to site to which one can confidently turn to find copies of articles and videos originally (1) appearing on sites that have gone defunct or (2) offered by extant sources whose controllers have come to regret their original postings or have become instantly allergic to the content of others deemed to be ______.

Fill in that blank with what distresses the likes of the masters of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, or Amazon. "Hate speech" works in 95% of the cases but then I lead a sheltered existence.[1]

But I've notice twice now that the Wayback Machine itself can accidentally fail to capture something even though a certain page of supposed captures show multiple alleged captures. What?

For example, the WBM page for this post (Peter Ford, ex-ambassadeur UK en Syrie) posted by algerie news reports 40 "captures" in the five-month period from April 8, 2017 to September 7, 2017:

The WBM was able to capture other data such as the usual below-the-video on YouTube:

But not the actual video:

An insuperable task! I rather doubt that only three years ago, the WBM did not have the technical capability to capture the actual video or "index" it on a quite routine and automatic basis. However, a limited sampling of five captures in the five-month period shows that the WBM had the exact same failure to archive or "index" the video. Is there no H-1B visa holder who can help the WBM?

Sometime between May 25, 2017 and August 10, 2017, the actual source account of algerie news was terminated on YouTube to protect us from North African crazy talk such as that the Syrian Arab Government was not responsible for the killings in Ghouta, Syria, in 2013. And if there's anyone who needs help in deciding what to think about something it is I. (Pedants take note.)

Call me crazy but my working hypothesis is that the YouTube termination somehow cascaded over into the WBM server farm. THEN the WBM encountered "difficulty" archiving or indexing the content. Retroactively.

As for what might be touchy about former Ambassador Ford's views, I see that the description of the video captured, in English, is:

In reality, we never learn. Iraq's (alleged) chemical weapons, do you remember? We were bludgeoned (to force us to intervene). In Aleppo, we were told that a holocaust was happening, massacres ... But nothing like that happened. Independent reporters have been there[.]"
On its face the essence of what he said is something you can find plenty of places on the web, so maybe it's the high-level source that lifts the thoughts out of the Buzzosphere. According to the Veterans Today editors, the BBC (Bullshit Broadcasting Corporation) "has been [sic] ordered Peter Ford’s interview off their servers."[2] About all I can say about that, if true, is that if the BBC or YouTube want something disappeared it's almost certainly for a corrupt purpose. A conclusive presumption, get down to it. (For additional light on this, see "this BBC interview with Marine Le Pen and her elegant shafting of the interviewer with an agenda. What they don't disappear they certainly sneer at. No agenda here, worthless scum.)

And now we can add the WBM to that partial list (BBC, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google, or Amazon). All the stuff that's fit to publish/archive . . . unless it suits our purposes to add it to our Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

Not a blast from the past but a blast back to the past. Not exactly what I'd call progress.

[1] "Kill whitey!" is definitely not hate speech and I sincerely apologize in advance if what I've said even hints at the absurd notion that it is.
[2] "Trump Lied: Fmr. Ambassador Peter Ford Busts False Flag Gas Attack." By Veterans Today Editors, Veterans Today, 4/7/17.



I've used WBM on numerous instances to capture articles that have been deep-sized. But I've taken to PDFing such pieces (or ripping the videos) "just in case". One example was an extensive article on the Islamic slaughters perpetrated on Hindu India.

Col. B. Bunny said...

I've also used it many times for what it was intended to do, viz., archive stuff. It's a Godsend when they feel up to the task. ZeroHedge has taken to deleting comments after a while, I understand. I'll have to see what WBM has of their posts.

Col. B. Bunny said...

This link is archived and in the March 2009 capture I see the familiar rotating red circle that I see when loading comments at the Hedge on any article. However, no comments load. I don't think this is sinister as loading comments requires human action (on the original page), otherwise the URL merely displays the subject article. An automated process of archiving what loads when you access a particular URL would not also capture what the human has to pursue, not without a lot of site-specific programming, if it's even possible. And all comments don't load at ZH, just 20 or so per page and then the user has to act to get more. Lots of user interaction required if there are many comments.

The very last capture in June of this year displays no icon to even try to load comments. That's ZH hiding comments, I presume.

More than you want to know about the WBM and ZH, no doubt.

The acid test for "retroactive technical difficulties" is seeing what happens to sites that are disappeared on whatever site and then going back a year on WBM to see what if they're now having "technical difficulties" with supposedly radioactive content as determined in the future. Got that?