Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Holding algorithms (and the people behind them) accountable is still tricky, but doable
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Jan. 28, 2016, 10:43 a.m.
Aggregation & Discovery
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Laura Hazard Owen   |   January 28, 2016

It’s been about a year since the Berkman Center at Harvard launched, in beta, a tool called Amber that helps preserve copies of every page linked to on a website. It’s an important project because, as we wrote at the time:

[Broken links are] a problem for anyone who publishes on the web, but particularly for news organizations — both because that network of links is an important part of the historical record and because so many news site redesigns and CMS changes have killed a disproportionate share of the web’s URLs.

A 2013 study found that 49 percent of links in Supreme Court decisions were dead, for instance (and the percentage is no doubt higher now), while more than 100,000 Wikipedia articles contain dead external links.

On Thursday, Berkman made Amber available to everyone as a plugin for WordPress and a module for Drupal.

Once the plugin is installed, copies of each linked page are stored on the host website’s server. But users can also choose to store them instead through donated space on Wayback Machine,, and Amazon Web Services.

Download it (or get more information) here.

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