When future historians come to analyse the eight years between 2011 and 2019, it’s unlikely that underachieving social network Google+ would be the first primary source on their minds.
Every little helps though, and it looks like the Internet Archive and ArchiveTeam have begun the tricky work of backing up the site before it dies forever on Tuesday April 2.
Announcing the process in a post on Reddit, the sites explained that scripts to capture and back up data had been activated, and that “most public Google+ content should live on at the Internet Archive thanks to a fanatical bunch of volunteers.”
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There are a couple of reasons that statement says “most” and not “all.” Firstly, as the process has only just begun, any posts have already been deleted can’t be preserved. Secondly, the scripts can’t back up private posts for obvious reasons. Finally, due to the way Google+ only presents a handful of comments in static HTML, it’s likely plenty of these will be missed.
Oh, and images and video won’t be preserved at full resolution – presumably to save money on storage space, which doesn’t come cheap. “The Internet Archive is fueled by donations, which provide servers, disk, and bandwidth to receive and share content,” the post explains. “It costs the Archive about $2,000 to host 1 terabyte of data.”
Beyond that, though, the teams are pretty optimistic. “Content archival is subject to the rate at which the project can proceed and any limitations imposed outside its control. From past experience, the Archive Team can suck in amazing amounts of data quickly, and general success is likely.”
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That means if you don’t want your Google+ content saved for posterity, you should probably act now. You can go and delete your page on Google+ and hope the script hasn’t reached your page yet, but you can also request the removal of specific content via the Internet Archive.
Are Google+ posts worth saving? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.