The Spectrum IEEE website caused quite a stir when they rescued the blog of a Fukushima worker that was mysteriously taken down. The worker made videos and gave great insight into the work going on at the plant and how robotics are being used. It is very useful and interesting information and not some sort of public relations nightmare. So the abrupt removal caused concern in the online community.
Proving nothing is ever really gone from the internet, Spectrum IEEE shows how they found and retrieved the videos and blog pages using some simple online tools. Google cache still shows many of the pages of the blog. This has been an ongoing concern and problem as the disaster evolved. People found information from various official sources was moved, altered or deleted. While this is vexing to those trying to understand and report on the disaster it has larger historical implications. What is written, published or saved now will be historical documents in a decade. Actions to censor or alter information in the larger scope is an attempt to rewrite history.
Various agencies and the Japanese government came under fire for a “harmful rumors” law that was aimed at intimidating internet users and the later hiring of a marketing company to monitor online activities for information they found disagreeable. They later tried to claim it was all benign and didn’t involve censorship. Yet there have been many instances reported among internet users following the events at Fukushima where they were harassed, had take down notices sent to content providers and mysteriously disappearing web sites. One item that seemed particularly at risk were videos of unit 3 exploding. Multiple people had cited take down notices or finding copies of the video on YouTube suddenly no longer there. The video had been replayed on just about every TV news broadcast in the world and has become one of the visuals etched in the collective mind. Why this video has been so targeted for censorship is not know. Just like weeds, old copies are removed, new ones show up somewhere else.
What every person can do to help preserve the true record of events is to make a copy and share a copy. If you find a compelling video or a document with important facts download a copy of it and save it somewhere safe. Then find place or method to share it with others. If something important goes missing use Spectrum IEEE’s tactics to find and restore a copy to preserve the real history of Fukushima.
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