The Internet is dynamic, fluid, and constantly reinventing itself. Websites change rapidly. Pages on various sites may be removed because the site owners think that they are no longer necessary or relevant. Or web pages may be lost or relocated during site revamps. And, of course, entire sites may disappear overnight.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place that you could go to find older versions of web pages that may have gone offline or been lost somewhere in the wilds of cyberspace? A massive and constantly updated storage facility that allows you to find and view literally millions of archived web pages going back many years? Wouldn’t that be fabulous?
For me, the Wayback Machine is one of the most useful sites on the Internet and one that I use regularly. Why do I find it so useful? I’ve been publishing stories here on Hoax-Slayer for around 15 years now. And most of the reports I’ve published during those years include links to external web pages that back up my findings and allow readers to verify my information for themselves if they wish.
But, inevitably, some of the pages I’ve linked to in these reports are no longer there. So, visitors who click them will get a “Page Not Found” error. Sometimes, when I’m updating an older report, I can locate a new version of the resource and simply relink it.
Alas, quite often, the original resource — and sometimes the entire website — has disappeared. But, if I copy the URL to the dead resource and plug it into the Wayback Machine’s “Browse History” search field, more often than not I’ll find an archived copy of the page I’m looking for. I can then copy the Wayback Machine web address to this archived copy and use it to update the resource link in my article. That way, my site visitors can still view a version of the resource that I originally linked to.
Of course, updating old links is just one of the ways that the Wayback Machine is useful. The site is also an amazing resource for journalists, researchers, historians, and ordinary Internet users who are looking for information that is no longer available at its original location. The Wayback Machine is also very handy for web developers who might want to quickly review an older version of their content or site layout.
The Internet Archive relies on donations from the public to keep it online and allow it to continue its vital work.
The Internet Archive’s founder Brewster Kahle explains:
We need your help to ensure that anyone curious enough to seek knowledge will be able to find it here, for free. We’re an independent, non-profit website that the entire world depends on. If the Internet Archive is useful to you, please take one minute to keep our services improving and free for everyone. Together we are building the public libraries of the future.
If you have found the Wayback Machine as helpful a resource as I have over the years, I hope you’ll consider donating a few dollars to help keep this amazing service up and running. I try to contribute regularly.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!