Will We Ever Excavate the Internet?

Posted on April 28, 2011

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http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384352,00.asp

So Friendster, one of the original social network website, is deleting all of its content, like someday Facebook will. Usually, I would not care but it reminded me of this video from the Onion- “Internet Archaeologists Find Ruins of Friendster Civilization”

I laugh pretty hard every time I see this video but it makes me wonder will we (archaeologists) actually, at some point, “excavate” the internet? Considering most archaeology laws only apply to things older then 50 years it will be decades before historical preservation/mitigation laws will apply to the internet but what happens when they do? Most landowners are pretty pissed when their land/buildings are designated as historically significant/protected.  Can you imagine how pissed a website owner would be if their website became a listed monument/historical building(?) and they needing planning permission to change the font or add an image.

Of course that assumes that anything on the internet will last that long. Which begs the question, should we be preserving the internet? That would require a different time scale then 50 years before something becomes protected, probably 50 months.

You thoughts dear reader?

Posted in: Wildcard