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Libraries to store all UK web content - including MN posts?

(31 Posts)
ControlGeek Fri 05-Apr-13 08:11:57

Or have I read this wrong?

"The British Library and four other "legal deposit libraries'" have the right to collect and store everything that is published online in the UK.


The archive will cover 4.8 million websites and will include magazines, books and academic journals as well as alternative sources of literature, news and comment such as Mumsnet, the Beano online, Stephen Hawking's website, and the unofficial armed forces' bulletin board, ARRSE."

JugglingFromHereToThere Sat 06-Apr-13 16:57:36

Yeh, I like that idea too OneHundred as I've been doing a bit of family research recently. But I wonder if our descendants would be able to identify us from our posts, or if it's more likely our views would just be included in some general social research ? I think Mumsnet could make a great social history archive for the future smile I often think we don't realise how old-fashioned some attitudes sadly still are, such as in equality/feminist issues and working rights. I'm hoping progress will mean they look equally old-fashioned in 100 years as Edwardian life looks to us today ! (Was just re-reading Vera Britten's "Chronicle of Youth" diaries at the weekend telling of life, especially for young women, on the brink of the first world war)

NetworkGuy Sat 06-Apr-13 21:21:48

I loved the comment on the Beeb site (even though it got some negative score):

"Just got to make sure they store most of it in fiction as you can't believe everything you read on the internet!"

It's one thing to archive it (and the "behind paywalls" question is a very good one) but another to even identify what will be archived.

Another comment - "It sounds like a great contract for someone: it's impossible without a magically replenishing blank cheque." HOW TRUE!

Also liked comments querying the usefulness of Tweets, Facebook etc.

NetworkGuy Sat 06-Apr-13 21:22:59

I don't know how they are going to identify which things are posted online "in the UK" - do they save everything from Twitter and Facebook "in case" the user was in the UK when they posted it. What about people that travel a lot for fun or for work - does everything an air steward/ess write get stored or only the UK-posted stuff.

I must find out how they define "published". I remember when there was the thread of black boxes being installed at ISP services to log everything, one ISP (Clara.Net which hardly serves the residential market now) had a comment posted to the effect "they'd move their mail servers offshore to provide their customers with some degree of privacy".

I wouldn't expect many of my dozens of websites to be archived and may take steps to move some from the UK, but it begs the question as to whether the author, being in the UK, is described as "publishing online in the UK" merely by uploading, in which case it matters not that I have some sites stord on non-UK servers.

(I hasten to add I'm doing nothing illegal, but remember someone whom I had not had contact with for 30+ years sending an e-mail out of the blue... I don't necessarily want such surprises in future and removed the method of identification from the site where the person had identified me.

If it was all archived by BL then someone could still access the information from the archive even though I had removed it from current online sites... and yes, I am aware of but you can {a} disable archiving with that and {b} my sites aren't important / popular enough to have been archived very much anyway!)

NetworkGuy Sat 06-Apr-13 21:27:43

was the thread of black boxes

gah! was the threat of black boxes

which no doubt do exist by now... hint, encrypt, encrypt, encrypt and use VPN to get a connection to somewhere outside the UK smile

NetworkGuy Sat 06-Apr-13 21:31:36

ControlGeek - I just 'reported' the thread to see if it can be moved...

Might be one to consider for "Site Stuff" or "In the News" as it does perhaps need wider discussion, MN input, and not to disappear from Chat in 3 months time... or will it be archived by BL and be visible forever smile

SandyMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Apr-13 11:14:46

Hi there,

This is v interesting and we are going to have a think about it. <scratches chin>
In the meantime we will be moving the thread to Other subjects, just so it doesn't get lost.


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