Reblog: New EDGI Report

We are excited to announce a new report from our partners over at EDGI: “Changing the Digital Climate: How Climate Change Web Content is Being Censored Under the Trump Administration” by Toly Rinberg, Maya Anjur-Dietrich, Marcy Beck, Andrew Bergman, Justin Derry, Lindsey Dillon, Gretchen Gehrke, Rebecca Lave, Chris Sellers, Nick Shapiro, Anastasia Aizman, Dan Allan, Madelaine Britt, Raymond Cha, Janak Chadha, Morgan Currie, Sara Johns, Abby Klionsky, Stephanie Knutson, Katherine Kulik, Aaron Lemelin, Kevin Nguyen, Eric Nost, Kendra Ouellette, Lindsay Poirier, Sara Rubinow, Justin Schell, Lizz Ultee, Julia Upfal, Tyler Wedrosky, Jacob Wylie, EDGI

Check out the full report here.

Read the Executive Summary:

“EDGI’s website monitoring working group monitors changes to tens of thousands of federal webpages that relate to environment, climate, and energy. In the first year of the Trump administration, we have observed alterations to many federal agency Web resources about climate change. Although there is no evidence of any removals of climate data, we have documented overhauls and removals of documents, webpages, and entire websites, as well as significant language shifts.

Key Findings:

While we cannot determine the reasons for these changes from monitoring websites alone, our work reveals shifts in stated priorities and governance and an overall reduction in access to climate change information, particularly at the EPA.

These documented changes matter because they:

What are EDGI’s Recommendations?

  • Transparency. Especially for major website overhauls, but for smaller updates to webpages as well, agencies should detail the scope of the pages that will be affected and clearly explain the reason for planned alterations in a public statement, well in advance of the changes actually being made.
  • Responsible Web archiving. Federal agencies should not alter or reduce access to Web content before they have created a log to thoroughly document their intended changes and ensured that the content is preserved and, for significant alterations, made accessible through a public archive.
  • Valuing Web resources. Web resources should be valued in terms of their educational importance, how much they enable historical understanding, and their advancement of scientific and policy research. Records schedules and records governance broadly should reflect these uses.
  • Distributed Web archiving. Federal agencies should work with growing civil society movements to rethink the way we organize, steward, and distribute data, Web resources, and online information.
  • Environmental data justice. Federal environmental agencies should work to create digital infrastructure through which communities can determine what kinds of data are collected and presented about them, in response to which issues. This includes proactive efforts to identify and accommodate those who access federal Web information, as well as offering communities the right to refuse consent to data collection.”