Matt Jones

When Links Go Bad

  • Posted by Matt (Permalink)
  • Published on

I like BBCi. I often link to its content, mainly BBC News Online articles which offer topics for me to write about here. When I create a link to a BBC News article, I know that link will continue to work months and years into the future; news archives in any format are important and old content needs to be permanently accessible for the purpose of historical study.

Why then, doesn't the rest of the content on the BBCi site follow to the same rules? A while ago, I linked to a piece in the ‘Cult’ section about the return of the Hitch-hiker's Radio Series (at the time of writing, it's still there over in the linklog). Follow that link now, and you get a 404 File Not Found error. Did I imagine the article? Has it been removed because they've decided not to go ahead with the recording? This isn't the only incidence of BBC instigated link-rot, browse through the archives of this site and the BBC's 404 page will crop up many times.

I know BBCi is a huge site incorpating hundreds of thousands of pages, but there's really no excuse for disappearing content.