Careful with those sources, fellow bloggers

The Ron Paul site shows a screenshot of 45 journos who allegedly faked news and in an argument against some on our own side of politics, it’s done as a screenshot of a chart like that at the foot of this page here.

Only on this page, at the time of posting, 06:00 on Monday, November 21st, all the links below work. They take you back to the wiki sources and other sources, plus a general pdf link for all wikilinks.

Obviously, it’s not good enough if links don’t work, which they don’t in a screenshot such as Ron Paul’s and he is running a huge risk, as his name is at the top of Google search on the topic. Fortunately though, in a circuitous way, via multiple links, the Reddit table below finally appeared.

As normally happens after time passes, many old links cease working and that is annoying because that was one’s evidence at the time of posting. After a couple of years, someone on the net clicks on your old blogpost and guess what – the links no longer work.

Sometimes, it’s not even after a long time – the alleged miscreants take the site down or delete the sources you’ve linked to the moment they know people are linking to them.

Hence the need to archive all material at source – in the case of that below, meaning 45 separate clickings and screenshots, let alone the context pdf of all Wikileaks releases – every single wikileak needing screenshots. And what blogger has the time and patience for that? The blogger can argue that that is beyond reasonable effort, beyond what the law would hold as ‘fair’.

But at a minimum, the law would take at least an initial ‘clickability’ to the source for each name as fair and reasonable, as necessary.

Hence I’m not the only site to provide the table below in that form – WND, Infowars and many others have done similar and we are fortunate to at least have an archived record now through them.


However, as a word of warning to myself, to hosts and to other bloggers, there is a worrying tech advance news sites have begun using. It’s not new in its technology – popup feeds from a url have been around a long time – but now news sites are using them, such that, if the blogger simply puts in the bare url or address, the tech does the rest and displays the graphic when the post is posted.

Ah, but firstly it is the graphic the source site wants you to have, the one it feeds, so it needs to be checked and secondly, it can disappear without warning, should the site cease wishing to display feeds that way or even due to a tech glitch.

In practical terms, that list with those links at the end of each name can disappear on the whim of Reddit at any time, rendering this blogpost, blogger and host on a sticky wicket. Hosts – be careful whom you host.

Let’s say the blogger had gone into a rant about Diane Sawyer, for example, on the basis of the link you now see at time of posting. Let’s say the display disappears and only the Reddit url remains. Let’s say Reddit no longer holds that page on the net – the reddit url is effectively dead.

The blogger may vehemently claim there had been a display but how could he prove that?

Well, an archived screenshot of course. But how many bloggers, amateurs, go to that trouble? The vexed question is then – how culpable is the blogger for assertions which he can no longer back up, unless he archived every single source for every assertion he ever made in 19,000 posts or so?

This is why we have a blog policy which states that a reasonable time must be allowed to takedown, in the case of this blog – 24 hours unless the blogger has stated he’s away from the desk and then only for a time.

What I’m saying is, if the blogger stops blogging and does not take his site down, then anyone can come in, a decade later and dispute an assertion. And if there is not evidence he tried to provide evidence, that could be tricky.

Anyway, for now, at the point of posting, here is the list below:

Reader, you will notice it’s just a url, is it not? Now confession time. I took the html from my own site and put it here, expecting that url just now to spring into life, as it is at my site.

And there, at my site, if you scroll down to the foot of the post, is the list in all its glory or infamy, depending on your point of view. So do you see our danger, fellow bloggers and readers alike? Tech has let us down and mixing metaphors, has left egg on our faces, leaving us on a sticky wicket.

2 comments for “Careful with those sources, fellow bloggers

  1. Lord T
    November 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    You may think 24 hours is enough but people can’t check the entire web in 24 hours even if the wanted to so have to deal with things as they find them which could be years later.

    The onus is on us to archive all data that is likely to be controversial and may lead to issues just for an audit trail at least. It is not unknown for sites to edit posts and change the message completely. You need to cover yourself and a screenshot should be the easiest way to do it.

    • November 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Yes. From you, good advice.

Comments are closed.