Sunday, 5 February 2017

411, 404

As we learn that US government websites are being savaged and historical content is being stripped away and sequestered from public-access—like reports on animal welfare for various commercial research facilities or weather or jobs statistics, so no one might be informed of realities inconveniently counter-factual to the official party lines, there was this one strangely prescient compilation that was a challenge to come by:
a freedom of information act (FOIA) request was filed in December of 2014 and was granted within a few months, delivering a list of all .gov domains that had been terminated for one reason or another over the past decade. There are some horrid examples of early web design brutalism that’s worth conserving for its own sake, and most—until now I suppose, had their content migrated and put under the stewardship of centralised web-masters. A few quietly disappeared, like (weapons of mass destruction, c. 2003-2009) that’s its own punchline, 404 error – not found, and I am sure that in this current political environment, Wokey the Bear and Ranger Smith’s fiddlers’ corner would be summarily embargoed.