“Archive Team, a self-described “loose collective of rogue archivists, programmers, writers and loudmouths dedicated to saving our digital heritage,” is a volunteer organization that monitors fading or at-risk sites before they’ve vanished completely. When Google announced the end of failed social network Google+, the collective saved 1.56 petabytes of its data in under four weeks.
Much of what Archive Team saves is then stored within the Internet Archive, which anyone can use to digitize whatever they feel is important. But the Wayback Machine uses bots to crawl the web and take snapshots as they go, while the Archive Team is laser focused on preserving endangered sites. It’s the difference between slowly amassing a huge library and trying to save every book from a specific collection that’s about to catch fire. To accomplish this, anyone can donate bandwidth and hard drive space to the “Warrior,” an archiving application that systematically downloads sites the group is worried about. Those downloads are then sent to the Archive Team’s servers before being moved to the safety of the Internet Archive. The Warrior’s current projects include the soon-to-shutter Freewebs, a hosting service that’s housed 55 million webpages since 2001, as well as certain subreddits that have been quarantined, often the first step discussion website Reddit takes before deleting an entire forum. The content of conversations within those communities might help researchers understand how, for example, extremist viewpoints spread online….”