The website is considered a digital library warehouse, with the purpose of preserving digital history and offering free access to books, movies, music, and also hundreds of billions of archived web pages. Some even call it a modern-day digital version of the Library of Alexandria. With this move, the repository is hoping to prevent future misunderstandings and keep a clean record of history.
This decision was announced in a blog post on October 30 and also contains examples, including an archived CNN story on the GOP’s 2017 healthcare bill, fact-checked by Politifact, and a Medium post later removed from Medium due to violating the Covid-19 content guidelines.
The Wayback Machine now includes a link to the disinformation report while a yellow bar at the top of the archived page informs users that the information has been fact-checked.
“We are attempting to preserve our digital history but recognize the issues around providing access to false and misleading information coming from different sources. By providing convenient links to contextual information we hope that our patrons will better understand what they are reading in the Wayback Machine.”Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine
For those unfamiliar with it, Wayback Machine is a digital internet archive that allows users to go “back in time” and see what websites looked like in the past. Since the service’s launch in 2001, over 463 billion pages have been added to the archive.