US Supreme Court decisions are suffering from major case of linkrot



IMO, a document archiving system such as this should include as part of the infrastructure a web caching system for external links, which should include versioning. Context is important in these cases, so if there’s an external link (which we must assume is relevant and important else why is it there?) then the site should retain a copy as it existed on the date the document was posted, and the document should periodically be rescanned, and any subsequent updates to the page should be made available to readers. The updates may be relevant or they may be counterproductive, but all should be made available.

Mr. Peabody and I just hopped into the wayback machine to get the cited content:

Inside the Sick Site of a School Shooter Mod
Posted on March 26, 2011 | Categorized under Site News

Following our recent removal from ModDB’s web service, we decided to build ourselves an entirely self-sufficient website; capable of hosting and handling the same content as our ModDB page. I suppose the main difference is that we won’t have to worry about our hosting pulling down our page without any prior notice! Also, not having to wait 3 days for ModDB administration to manually approve our news posts will be a welcome change of pace, and will probably mean more frequent updates to this page.

As of now, the Media and Mailbag pages are all but devoid of content; but we’ll be filling the former up with screenshots, gameplay footage, and music from the game’s soundtrack. The latter page will serve as a repository for some of the more noteworthy / interesting e-mails we’ve received regarding the project. The Press page also happens to be missing a number of articles, which we will be adding to the directory in due time. Naturally, new articles and reports will be added to the listing as well as they come along.


This is why everyone should donate to The Internet Archive, they are constantly un-breaking the web for old link archives.


the article posted on BB is misleading. It isn’t that “About half of the web links that point to historic Supreme Court opinions” have rotted, it is that “About half of the web links found in historic Supreme Court opinions” have rotted.

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That sounds right.

Linkrot is what historians will curse, once we complete the migration from paper to electronic media. The Internet Archive does a sterling job to try and patch a version-control system into the web, but it will never be enough. We’ve only just started to realise that the web, as currently architected, is a gigantic Memory Hole.

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If the new owners wish to piss people off, they can alter the robots.txt file to remove historical content from the archive.

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