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I'm analyzing the history of COVID-19 data from the Polish government website, which only shows current data and doesn't show its own history. So I'm using web.archive.org to view saved copies. For this purpose, it is very important to have a separately saved copy on each day and maybe even at different hours. Sunday evening's numbers are different from Sunday morning's.

Now when I go to web.archive.org and put in the URL, I get a list of dates when archive.org supposedly saved the page. For example, for Sunday, April 19, 2020, it says:

3 snapshots

I want to see each of these saves and compare them. However, when I click them, I get redirected as follows:

Why does this happen? Did archive.org save the page and then lose it? Or does it have something to do with server overload? If the archived page isn't lost permanently, when would it become available again? (Note: I know that the page actually did change and the numbers were different from the redirected times---it isn't just collapsing identical copies.)

Edit: Now (April 22, 2020) these 3 snapshots have disappeared from the list entirely. What the heck? I thought archive.org claims to give a "trusted citation". Are they randomly destroying snapshots because they ran out of space?

Edit 2: Now (April 23, 2020) at least one of these snapshots has reappeared and is working fine. Very confusing! I feel like I've had this problem with archive.org before, but this is the first time I've verified and documented it.

1 Answer 1

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Avid users of IA know that for many years now, its webdev team is abysmal as there's just simply no focus in fundraising unlike Wikipedia.

Plenty of other documented bugs with the UI that still exists today, like if you try and use the form on the loaded webpage, the XHR will not provide a correct response.

The solution is to always load the page directly from the omnibar to avoid bugs, and test with ctrlshift-R and/or new incognito session.

In your specific case, it was most likely due to a nonupdate cache or an off-by-one bug.

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  • @downvoter, might want to explain how your answer is better.
    – Pacerier
    Jun 15, 2023 at 2:24

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