What Is Archiving and How Does It Help in Tracking Misinformation?

What do you do when a person takes down their social media post and you struggle to prove it existed?

2 min read
Edited By :Ahamad Fuwad

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Illustrations: Aroop Mishra


Have you ever struggled with the question that how do you access a person's social media post, in case they take it down? Or how do you prove that a post like that ever existed?

Well, the simple answer to that question is to check if an archive of the post exists.

But what is an archive?

Archiving is like creating an uneditable "photocopy" of a webpage or social media post, so that you could access it even after it has been deleted.


Could you explain this with an example?

During the Commonwealth Games 2022, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag congratulated Indian sprinter Hima Das for getting a gold medal. But the tweet came out even before Das' event happened.

After Sehwag was called out on social media, he deleted the tweet. While the were screenshots available, the post didn't exist anymore. In this case, if you still have the original tweet link, you could use that and look if an archive exists using online tools like Wayback Machine, etc.

  • A link to the archive can be found here. 

    (Source: Wayback Machine/Screenshot)

Are these tools only used to look up archives?

No, you could use them to create archives while a link is still up and hasn't been taken down.

How is archiving even helpful?

Archiving not only acts as proof for fact-checkers, but also helps when fact-checkers avoid adding link to sites that are spreading m/disinformation.

It's also helpful in drawing up profiles of people who regularly spread m/disinformation and make their followers aware that the content shared by them has been questionable.


Is archiving online for social media posts?

No, you can archive websites, social media posts, article links etc as well.

What are the other tools I can use to create archives?

There are several free websites that let people archive webpages and social media posts such as:

  • Wayback Machine



There are additional paid tools such as and Stillio, which give additional features such as maintaining a record of the archives.


(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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