The web is decentralized and fluid by design, but all that chaos and ephemerality can make it difficult to keep a site up and online without interruption. That's what has made the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine feature so invaluable over the years, maintaining a history of long-forgotten pages. Now its deep memory will help make sure the sites you visit never go down, through a partnership with the internet infrastructure company Cloudflare. Since 2010, Cloudflare has offered a feature called Always On, which caches a static version of sites that it can serve to visitors in case of downtime. Always On was one of CloudFlare's original offerings; John Graham-Cumming, the company's chief technology officer, says the infrastructure powering it was due to be rearchitected.
The saying goes, "the internet is forever." Now, the Wayback Machine and Cloudflare are doing their part to strengthen that adage. The two are joining forces to ensure more web pages are archived, according to a post on the Internet Archive blog. The Wayback Machine, a project of Internet Archive, allows you to view web pages as they appeared on certain past dates. The partnership with Cloudflare means Internet Archive has another source for URLs -- websites that use Cloudflare's Always Online service.
Even the Wayback Machine is getting into fact-checking now. In a blog post on its website, the Internet Archive announced it was rolling out fact-checking annotations on certain webpages archives by its Wayback Machine. According to Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine, the organization felt the need for this feature after noticing a number of fact-checking groups linking to archived versions of pages. "We are attempting to preserve our digital history but recognize the issues around providing access to false and misleading information coming from different sources," Graham wrote in the post. "By providing convenient links to contextual information we hope that our patrons will better understand what they are reading in the Wayback Machine."
The BBC has confirmed it will close its popular BBC Food website though people will still be able to view its 11,000 recipes if they bookmark them. The clarification follows earlier reports that the archived recipes were set to be removed after a review of the corporation's online output which promised to save 15 million ( 21 million) a year. A source told the Guardian that the recipes are being "archived or mothballed" and would "fall off the face of the internet after the site is closed." The BBC said the Food site won't be updated but if you know the URL for a recipe you could still go to it. James Harding, Director of BBC News & Current Affairs, said:"The internet requires the BBC to redefine itself, but not its mission: the BBC's purpose online is to provide a distinctive public service that informs, educates and entertains."
Cloudflare and Internet Archive have joined forces to archive more of the public web, touting it would make the web more reliable. As part of this joint effort, websites that use Cloudflare's Always Online service will be able to allow the web infrastructure company to share their hostname and URLs with Internet Archive's Wayback Machine so their website can be automatically archived. When a site is down, Cloudflare will then be able to retrieve the most recently archived version from Internet Archive so that a site's content can be accessed by users. "The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine has an impressive infrastructure that can archive the web at scale," Cloudflare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince said. "By working together, we can take another step toward making the internet more resilient by stopping server issues for our customers and in turn from interrupting businesses and users online." According to Internet Archive, more than 468 billion web pages are available via the Wayback Machine to date.