November 30, 2016 Last Updated 7:53 am

Reacting to election of Donald Trump, Wayback Machine looks to duplicate archive in Canada

Morning Brief: Australian television presenter lawyers up for possible defamation suit against Pacific Magazine’s New Idea in blowback against stories, reader comments

The Internet Archive is looking to duplicate its collections of web pages known as the Wayback Machine, its 3 million eBooks, and its Political TV Ad Archive in a country safe from potential government interference following the election of Donald Trump – it wants to go to Canada. So, the non-profit is asking for donations on its website blog.

The Wayback Machine stores up to 300 million web pages each week, and is a valuable resource for, well, TNM, for instance. It’s where you can find early versions of websites, as well as archived copies of web pages their publishers wish would disappear altogether.

nyt-1996-580
Source: The Wayback Machine – NYT.com, December 20, 1996

But the election of Donald Trump, someone who has said that net neutrality is biased against the right, and who wants to increase government surveillance, might endanger the archives – and so the move to build a duplicate of the archives in another country.

Comments on the blog post have been generally positive, though a number of commenters mentioned their concern regarding Canadian laws that might impact the archive. Then there is the growing issue of Europe’s “Right to be Forgotten” regulations, which also endanger attempts to maintain an archive of the web.

Internet Archive Blogs, Brewster Kahle:

Help Us Keep the Archive Free, Accessible, and Reader Private

The history of libraries is one of loss. The Library of Alexandria is best known for its disappearance…

…On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.

For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions.

It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.

Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kate Tummarello:

We Won’t Let You Forget It: Why We Oppose French Attempts to Export the Right To Be Forgotten Worldwide

One country’s government shouldn’t determine what Internet users across the globe can see online. But a French regulator is saying that, under Europe’s “Right to be Forgotten,” Google should have to delist search results globally, keeping them from users across the world. That’s a step too far, and would conflict with the rights of users in other nations, including those protected by the laws and Constitution of the United States.

EFF joined Article 19 and other global free speech groups in a brief to the Conseil d’Etat asking it to overturn that ruling by France’s data protection authority, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés’ (CNIL). The brief, filed Nov. 23, 2016, argues that extending European delisting requirements to the global Internet inherently clashes with other countries’ laws and fundamental rights, including the First Amendment in the U.S.



Has the election of Donald Trump actually been good for those newspapers wanting to sell digital subscriptions? Certainly the NYT is trying to convince it has been. Whether responding to the president-elect’s constant reference to the “failing NYT” or simply letting its advertising prospects know they are not going under, the paper has been bragging that the election cycle brought in a wave of new paid subscribers.

I’m sitting on the sidelines on these claims. As a publisher I like to see the P&L – or, in this case, the earnings report, and that won’t come out until early February. That doesn’t mean I doubt the claims, just want to see proof – you know, the kind of proof the NYT always wants to have for any claim DJT makes. Seems fair to me.

Having said that, it is true that some publications have seen spikes in circulation when “the opposition” takes power. The Nation, for instance, saw a nice spike in circulation when George Bush won in 2000, and it is likely to see another now that another Republican will be in the White House.

Fortune, Tom Huddleston, Jr.:

The New York Times Has 132,000 Reasons to Thank Donald Trump

The New York Times confirmed to Fortune on Tuesday that the newspaper saw an increase of roughly 132,000 paid subscriptions to its print and digital editions over the period between the Nov. 8 election and this past Saturday. Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said that increase (first reported on Tuesday by CNBC) “represents a dramatic rate of growth”—10-times more than during the same period last year and the paper’s largest two-and-a-half week increase since introducing its digital pay model in 2011.

The Times isn’t alone, either, as The Wall Street Journal said it saw a 300% spike in new subscribers on Nov. 9, the day after the election. And, CNBC added that Tronc—formerly known as the Tribune Publishing Company—said its portfolio of publications have seen an average bump of 29% in paid digital subscriptions since the election…

…The subscriber spike comes at a much-need time for a journalism industry that is dealing with its latest financial issues, as global newspaper print advertising spending is expected to dip nearly 9% this year. The advertising revenue trouble has spurred further rounds of layoffs even at the largest publications, including recent reports that the News Corp.-owned Journal will trim its staff as it consolidates its print edition. The Times and newspaper publishing giant Gannett have also been subject to reports of widespread layoffs this year.



It looks like the sue-the-media bug may be hitting Australia, with the big media story there about Karl Stefanovic, a television presenter, possibly suing a Pacific Magazines title for defamation. New Idea, the magazine involved, is a long-running Australian weekly magazine which has been running stories recently about the presenter following his recent divorce.

But one thing caught my attention: the reference in the News.com.au story about reader comments. I predict we will see more people accuse news websites of encouraging radical comments through their comment policies. I certainly see, for instance, that some newspaper that many consider more liberal, actually can be seen to be hot beds of white nationalism if you were to only look at the comment threads. What is the responsibility of editors and publishers to moderate these threads? Many believe there should little to no moderation – yet before the web, wasn’t the Letters to the Editor section highly moderated, with letters chosen because they were well-written, added to the conversation in a positive way, or added a new perspective?

The Sydney Morning News, Georgina Mitchell:

Nine Network hires lawyer as Karl Stefanovic considers suing gossip magazines

newidea-covers-420Channel Nine has hired a defamation lawyer for Karl Stefanovic after a series of “fictitious and damaging articles” were published about his private life in gossip magazines.

The Today show host, 42, separated from his wife Cassandra Thorburn earlier this year after more than two decades of marriage.

Since then, he has become a regular fixture in magazines and tabloids.

News.com.au:

Nine threatens to sue magazines over ‘fictitious’ Karl Stefanovic articles

“This very personal campaign is being prosecuted by weekly women’s magazines running fictitious and damaging articles about Karl Stefanovic that are without any foundation of fact. At best, this is lazy and reckless reporting. At worst, there is a case that this campaign is designed to damage not only his reputation but our business as well and we no longer intend to tolerate these lies. Nine has instructed Mark O’Brien, one of Australia’s most experienced media and defamation lawyers, to act on Karl and Nine’s behalf in this matter and take the necessary steps to defend his reputation against the endless fabrications.”

Just last week, Today presenter Lisa Wilkinson also blasted the media for their treatment of her co-host.

In a podcast with Mamamia’s Mia Freedman, she voiced her “disgust” at the media storm. “There’s a lot of rubbish out there at the moment, a lot of lies,” she told Freedman…

…Wilkinson also cited unmoderated comments sections on websites as a factor in making the situation worse.

“And my disgust, my growing disgust, for the people in charge of those magazines and those websites, right now makes me so angry,” she said.

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