Is it IT’s fault? – Computerworld

Disappearing tweets

And it’s not just links. Looking at that other cultural reference point, “tweets” on the X (formerly Twitter) platform, a similar pattern was evident. From a representative sample of 5 million tweets posted between 8 March and 27 April 2023, the team found that by 15 June 18% had disappeared. And that figure could get a lot higher if the company ever stops redirecting URLs from its historic domain name.

Some languages were more affected by disappearing tweets than others, with the rate for English language tweets being 20% and for those in Arabic and Turkish an extraordinary 42% and 49%, respectively.

Pew is not the first to look into the issue. In 2021, an analysis by the Harvard Law School of 2,283,445 links inside New York Times articles found that of the 72% that were deep links (i.e., pointing to a specific article rather than a homepage), 25% were inaccessible.

As a website that’s been in existence since 1996, The New York Times is a good measure of long-term link rot. Not surprisingly, the further back in time you went, the more rot was evident, with 72% of links dating to 1998 and 42% from 2008 no longer accessible.

This study also looked at content drift, that is the extent to which a page is accessible but has changed over time, sometimes dramatically, from its original form. On that score, 13% of a sample 4,500 pages published in the New York Times had drifted significantly since they’d first been published.

Where is IT going wrong?

Does any of this matter? One could argue that web pages disappearing or changing is inevitable even if not many people notice or care.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.