"A significant proportion of the websites that this social
media [around the Arab Spring] points to has disappeared. And the same
pattern occurs for other culturally significant events, such as the the
H1N1 virus outbreak, Michael Jackson’s death and the Syrian uprising. In
other words, our history, as recorded by social media, is slowly
The researchers found that 27 percent
of content linked to two years ago via social media has since
disappeared. A Twitter history of the Arab Spring now leads to a lot of
long-gone Web pages."
This is sad. When Anonymous began protesting Scientology in 2008, I went on their web site and posted that "you need to have an archivist!" Fortunately, quite a bit of that fleeting history, such as the call to arms on 4chan.org, were captured. But in many cases people don't think about the historical nature of what they are doing, and don't even consider preserving the content of their actions.
I'm not sure what the solution is, except maybe for some Great Library somewhere to capture everything so the important stuff can be gleaned later. You listening, NSA?