Digital materials are listed as Vulnerable when the technical challenges to preservation are modest but responsibility for care is poorly understood, or where the responsible agencies are not meeting preservation needs. This classification includes Lower Risk materials in the presence of aggravating conditions.

In alphabetical order, Digital Species found to be Vulnerable are:


Materials Posted to Current Web-based Social Media Platforms or Equivalents

Data generated on web-based social interaction services with asymmetrical terms and conditions and depending on the business model of a single corporate service provider which is in good health but no requirement to preserve. Often provided at no cost to users.


Assessment is Urgent (Within 2 years)

Assessment Completed:

November 2017           


Facebook posts


WhatsApp Messages

SnapChat Messages

Slack Channels

Online political campaigns

Blogs and blog comments

Online discussion fora

Online communities

Aggravating conditions:

lack of preservation capacity in supplier;

lack of preservation commitment at or incentive for social media companies;

dependence on proprietary products or formats;

poor management of data protection;

inaccessibility to web archiving services;

political or commercial interference;

lack of offline equivalent;


infrequent access;

conflation of preservation and access;

political or commercial interference

Vulnerable small


Endangered in the presence of Aggravating Conditions.

Lower Risk where good practice can be demonstrated.

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