The Internet Archive—Created for Free Speech—Spirals into Censorship

This is just one of many organizations devolving into censorship.

The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the mission of providing “universal access to all knowledge.” It was founded in 1996 and serves as a hub for internet research. Its most important service is called the Wayback Machine, which attempts to save every web page online.

Fact checks: In 2020, the platform began adding fact-checks to archived web pages provided by biased services like Politifact.

Now: After New York Times journalist Taylor Lorenz doxxed the owner of Libs of TikTok, researchers went to the Wayback Machine to research the journalist’s deleted Tweets. This is the same method Lorenz used to doxx Libs Of TikTok.

Researchers found that the Wayback Machine had removed all of their information on Taylor Lorenz and made it inaccessible to researchers.

The error reads, “Sorry. This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.”

Above the error, The Internet Archive asks individuals to sustain their work through a donation. The message unironically reads as follows:

“They’re trying to change history—don’t let them. The Wayback Machine is a crucial resource in the fight against disinformation, and now more than ever we need your help. Right now we’re preserving history as it unfolds, keeping track of who’s saying what and when—all without charging for access, selling user data, or running ads.

Instead, the Internet Archive (which runs this project) relies on the generosity of individuals to help us keep the record straight. If you find all these bits and bytes useful, please pitch in.

—Brewster Kahle, Founder, Internet Archive”

This is just one of many organizations devolving into censorship.

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