Trust but verify
The Wayback Machine, part of The Internet Archive, is an absolutely essential part of the open web and, as it happens, my work. I use it for all sorts of things, most visibly finding archived versions of web pages that have vanished for whatever reasons. I support them with an annual donation, but today I felt compelled to give more, after The Guardian reported that Dominic Cummings falsified the record of what he said when about coronaviruses. The prompt:
First spotted by Jens Wiechers, a data scientist, the edits are verifiable through periodic snapshots of the blog saved by the Internet Archive, which shows the change occurring between 9 April and 3 May this year. A hidden record on Cummings’ own site shows the post was edited at 8:55pm on 14 April, the day he has told the public he had returned from his trip to Durham.
Cummings’ weblog is hosted by WordPress.com, so I’m guessing that the “hidden record“ is one of their secrecy-by-obscurity URLs that shows revisions, but I don’t honestly care. The Wayback Machine’s smoking gun is good enough for me.