Archive link request February 16, 2022 2:41 AM   Subscribe

The use of archive sites to get around paywalls has been discussed a few times already. I'd like to foreground a request: when using an archive link, please also include the original link. This is for 2 reasons...

1) It helps prevent bitrot. For example, if a 2032 Doubles Jubilee poster (here's hoping) wants to follow up on this bitcoin laundering post but the archive.fo site is gone, then the OP link (https://archive.fo/2lIJy) provides exactly zero information about what the original article even was. Whereas the original link (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/13/nyregion/bitcoin-bitfinex-hack-heather-morgan-ilya-lichtenstein.html) provides information (publisher, date, title) that can help track down other copies of the article.

2) A lot of these archive services are new, it's not always clear whether they're shady or not, and it's good to have a choice on whether to click through to a random site versus a news site you're familiar with and feel more comfortable assessing the safety of.

(These points also hold in varying degrees for URL shorteners like bit.ly/whatever, amzn.com/whatever, and so on.)

tl;dr Original links alongside archive links would be much appreciated! Thank you for reading my MetaTalk.
posted by trig to Etiquette/Policy at 2:41 AM (13 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

To avoid confusion: the post referred to here was later mod-edited to use the original NYT link first, with the archive link as an alt.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:42 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Honestly, that post was the only time I've ever seen that happen; usually I've only seen the original link and NO archive link, which also isn't ideal. But, noted.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:48 AM on February 16


Just use Archive.org, people! It's a known quantity, far less likely to go down than some of these dodgier sites, and preserves the web address in the URL. You can also archive a live site on demand.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:34 AM on February 16 [9 favorites]


I feel like I've been seeing it a fair amount in the past few months (most problematically in posts but also in comments).
But yeah, archive.org is great.
posted by trig at 5:12 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


+1 Rhaomi, with a reminder that archive.fo/is/today/etc intentionally breaks cloudflare's DNS results, leading to confusion like this.
posted by 7segment at 9:56 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


But please, when linking to articles in fascist rags, continue to make the primary link the archive mirror and note the identity of the source.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 10:14 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Thank you Trig, this is an excellent suggestion. Sites based on copyright violations tend to disappear quickly and without much notice (or get purchased by large corporations which is sometimes worse)
posted by gwint at 7:00 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


This is the first time I've seen the word 'foreground' used as a verb.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:13 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Hah, Too-Ticky, I was surprised at myself too. It is in the dictionary, though!
posted by trig at 11:20 AM on February 17


Just use Archive.org, people!

Some workplace internet filters will block Archive.org. Ask me how I know this.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 2:58 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


archive.org is the Internet Archive. Recent articles can be found there, they say; although its mission is much broader (it's a treasure trove of other stuff: you can find books, sound recordings and movies there too, along with the oh-so-vital Wayback Machine -‌- web-pages long gone can still be seen there). Not the same as archive.today (and its mirrors: archive.is, archive.vn, etc) which archives print articles that originally appeared at web-sites behind paywalls. More about archive.today at wikipedia.
posted by Rash at 5:24 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Cosigned, and from my personal perspective adding a lesser 3) not infrequently, I'm a subscriber to a paywalled source/have a login for a gated source and would prefer the option to read it on its native site. (On this note, I'd also personally prefer links to Threadreader-type sites to be accompanied by the original tweets, both because that's where the author chose to post it and because I genuinely prefer the interface.)
posted by eponym at 6:38 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]


FWIW: Web Archives (Firefox / Chrome)
posted by MollyRealized at 7:09 PM on February 17


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