Advanced search

Conservatives erase Internet history

(98 Posts)
ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 14:09:26

The Conservative Party has attempted to erase a 10-year backlog of speeches from the internet, including pledges for a new kind of transparent politics the prime minister and chancellor made when they were campaigning for election.

Prime minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne campaigned on a promise to democratise information held by those in power, so people could hold them to account. They wanted to use the internet transform politics.

But the Conservative Party has removed the archive from its public facing website, erasing records of speeches and press releases going back to the year 2000 and up until it was elected in May 2010.

It also struck the record of their past speeches off internet engines including Google, which had been a role model for Cameron and Osborne's "open source politics".

And it erased the official record of their speeches from the Internet Archive, the public record of the net - with an effect as alarming as sending Men in Black to strip history books from a public library and burn them in the car park.


ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 14:10:34

Fortunately, the Tories haven’t yet figured out how to delete YouTube

It was reported earlier today by Computer Weekly that the Conservative Party has attempted to delete a 10-year backlog of speeches from its website, going back to the year 2000 and up until it was elected in May 2010.

Fortunately, while Tory party HQ may believe it can stand athwart history yelling ‘stop’, YouTube still exists.

ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 14:10:45

I recommend watching that last video.

ohmymimi Wed 13-Nov-13 15:07:52

I did (watch the vid). It made my tablet freeze; not sure whether it was the content of Gidder's pronouncements or his bouffantly handsomeness that caused it - maybe the unholy impact of both?

DoctorTwo Wed 13-Nov-13 16:01:12

Bunch of lying bastards. No wonder they want them expunged.

ginghamcricketbox Wed 13-Nov-13 16:43:58

Whereas I'm wondering why the same question wasn't put to Labour when they removed all their material going back to 2010. October 2010 to be precise.

The earliest item from the news archive on Labour's site? Ed Miliband's conference speech in 2010.

AuntieStella Wed 13-Nov-13 16:46:27

Soonce again, Labour do it - passes without comment. Tories follow suit and suddenly it's heinous?

Double standards?

DoctorTwo Wed 13-Nov-13 16:59:31

I didn't know Liebour had done it, but now I do I'm just as pissed off. All their lies should be available for us to beat them with forever.

In the meantime, it's made it to Buzzfeed

ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 17:39:42

gingham and Auntie-

Well, the Tory scum not only removed links to the older videos on their websites, but they changed their website code in such a way that the archives would become unavailable at the internet archive website:

You're right, though, that it is disingenuous for either party to remove past speeches in an apparent effort to hide broken pledges from previous speeches. As a matter of democracy, all parties should make these speeches easily accessible.

ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 17:56:57

Correction: they changed their website in such a way that the speeches would become unavailable at (they removed them following protocol), but *all search engines*:

"Although the problem with this explanation is that the Conservatives have tried to remove the speeches from all search engines, not just their website."

BMW6 Wed 13-Nov-13 18:58:58

So, in conclusion Labour Scum are as bad as Tory Scum.

No news there.

claig Wed 13-Nov-13 20:07:24

Have UKIP removed their speeches?

claig Wed 13-Nov-13 20:11:19

"But worst of all they’ve deleted the records of David Cameron’s April 2006 trip to the Arctic to raise awareness of climate change."

I'm not surprisd they wanted to delete the shameful crap they said about climate change, climate catastrophe, the "carbon footprint" and polar bears and huskies. Looks like they've finally come to their senses! Better late than never!

ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 20:56:59

>Have UKIP removed their speeches?

UKIP have removed their candidates - several of them.

claig Wed 13-Nov-13 21:03:52

Yes, I read that. I am not sure about UKIP and if they are really for real or if they are meant to deceive their voters ad supporters. Only time will tell.

breadandbutterfly Wed 13-Nov-13 22:33:03

But surely the speeches were all reported elsewhere on the internet at the time? Or on Hansard if in the HoC? They can't expunge the entire internet, surely?

ttosca Wed 13-Nov-13 23:30:08


You are correct. What happened is this:

The Tory scum removed the videos and links to previous speeches on their website and used what is known as a robots.txt file to prevent 'bots' (that is, search engines) from indexing the pages where these videos were stored.

As a matter of courtesy, removed the same videos which were removed and indicated as 'please do not index' by the robots.txt file on the Tory website.

Videos of the previous speeches still exist on the web, including YouTube.

What has happened is that they have made it harder for people to find them because search engines (and no longer index those videos on the Tory website.

Fortunately, they haven't figured out way to actually censor any videos yet.

ttosca Thu 14-Nov-13 13:59:05

More Orwellian censorship:

Conservatives remove WebCameron from YouTube

Party deletes or hides pre-election material from the internet, including much of David Cameron's 'WebCameron' series

lljkk Thu 14-Nov-13 14:11:24

How is it censorship to remove material they themselves published? confused Sheesh, I don't keep archives of everything I ever put online.

ttosca Thu 14-Nov-13 14:48:06

> How is it censorship to remove material they themselves published?

There are two reasons to suggest this is more than just 'housekeeping':

a) They included a robots.txt file on their website to stop search engines finding older material.

b) They deliberately removed old videos from YouTube. There is no good reason to do this that I can see.

Finally, you, as a private individual, have quite different responsibilities to the public than a political party which made public speeches and on which the public the rely to make informed political choices.

bobthebuddha Thu 14-Nov-13 15:10:24

Oh My GOD! Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?*Pass the Lizard-proof tinfoil, I need to make a hat

Don't mention the copies on the British Library site, anyone.

claig Thu 14-Nov-13 15:21:32

Good article in the Register, apart from the bit about the field of conspiracy theory.

I'm not surprised the Tories and Labour removed loads of their old speeches from the Internet. Who on eartth wanted to read that old guff? But conspiracy theories won't be removed, because everyone's reading them to try and find out what the hell's going on!

claig Thu 14-Nov-13 15:26:41

As long as the Daily Mail archives are still online, I'm happy!

ttosca Thu 14-Nov-13 19:17:00


> Oh My GOD! Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?*Pass the Lizard-proof tinfoil, I need to make a hat

The idea that the Tories erased all traces of previous speeches from the internet has more to do with peoples technical misunderstanding than it does either of the articles I posted.

Many people without a technical background may mistakenly, if understandably, confuse what is explained in the articles with the idea that all traces of the speeches were removed from the net.

What happened, as I explained above, was that they Tory scum removed the previous speeches from their website. Furthermore, they did two other things:

a) Indicated via their robots.txt file that search engines should not index those previous speeches, thus indicating they do not wish those old speeches to be easily searched for via Google and other search engines.

b) Removed old speeches from YouTube, again indicating that they want to make these speeches more difficult to obtain.

There is no 'conspiracy' involved. Even the ever-sarcastic Register calls it out for exactly what it is: Political parties removing previous speeches where broken promises were made, in the run-up to the upcoming elections.

BMW6 Thu 14-Nov-13 20:47:08

But this is nothing new! Political Parties have always broken promises. and the Public have no trouble remembering what was promised pre Election!

If anyone DOES forget, there are endless jornalists and political commentators who bring up promises made.

Newspapers are all archived too. The info is there, always has been!

Perhaps you are over reliant on the internet, OP??

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now