If the internet is at its core is a system of record, then it is failing to complete that mission. Sometime in 2014, the internet surpassed a billion websites, while it has since fallen back a bit, it’s quite obviously an enormous repository. When websites disappear, all of the content is just gone as though it never existed, and that can have a much bigger impact than you imagine on researchers, scholars or any Joe or Josephine Schmo simply trying to follow a link.
Granted, some decent percentage of those pages probably aren’t worth preserving (and some are simply bad information), but that really shouldn’t be our call. It should all be automatically archived, a digital Library of Congress to preserve and protect all of the content on the internet.
As my experience shows, you can’t rely on publishers to keep a record. When it no longer serves a website owner’s commercial purposes, the content can disappear forever. The trouble with that approach is it leaves massive holes in the online record.
Cheryl McKinnon, an analyst with Forrester Research, who covers content management, has been following this issue for many years. She says the implications of lost content on the internet could be quite profound. READ MORE: The Internet Is Failing The Website Preservation Test | TechCrunch