Critically Endangered small

Older or less widely used social media platforms to which content has been uploaded but for which no guarantees have been made about the long term

Group:  Social Media

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

Trend towards greater risk

Previous classification: Critically Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment in one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

Loss seems likely: by the time tools or techniques have been developed the material will likely have been lost.

Examples

BeBo, MySpace, Google Buzz and others

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Closure of platform; lack of offline equivalent; lack of export functionality; no preservation undertaking from service provider; unstable business plan from service provider.

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Offline Replication; clear notice periods and alerts; committed ongoing maintenance of service

2021 Review

The 2019 judges added to this entry introduced in 2017, emphasizing the different threats faced by social media users who uploaded content to defunct or little-used social media platforms. Because these services are older, the need to act is more urgent than for others. Often, the significance is only brought to attention once they are lost, which in some instances may pose the question of the to preserve them. When we look at the digital preservation landscape and where we need to apply effort as well as resource defunct early social media spaces are not high on the list, but when considering how contemporary social media channels could become defunct, it becomes a different conversation because of how intrinsically tied they are to political discourse and influencing political opinion. For this reason, there is a 2021 trend towards greater risk due to the existing risks of defunct or little-used platforms with recognition of the need to develop tools or techniques for applying to others that may follow the same path.

Additional Jury Comments

It is to be hoped that some of these have been archived via traditional web archiving, and so the remnants of these sites can be found in bits and pieces in various web archives, but it may be too late to save some of the content that is likely already be lost. If some of this is still available, there may be hope in trying to preserve, but it may be difficult if the platforms are not willing to share data or work with preservationists. ArchiveTeam has stepped in here too. There is undoubtedly a story here that could be used as a call for arms to raise awareness about the preservation of current social media platforms too

Case Studies or Examples:


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