March 22-24 2018

march 22-24 | New Museum, 235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002 | T I C K E T S

This conference will consider how web archives can better serve their publics and the historical record.

The dramatic rise in the public’s use of the web and social media to document events presents tremendous opportunities to transform the practice of social memory.

Web archives can serve as witness to crimes, corruption, and abuse; they are powerful advocacy tools; they support community memory around moments of political change, cultural expression, or tragedy. At the same time, they can cause harm and facilitate surveillance and oppression.

As new kinds of archives emerge, there is a pressing need for dialogue about the ethical risks and opportunities that they present to both those documenting and those documented. This conversation becomes particularly important as new tools, such as Rhizome’s Webrecorder software, are developed to meet the changing needs of the web archiving field.

The National Forum on Ethics and Archiving the Web (#eaw18) will bring together activists, librarians, journalists, archivists, scholars, developers, and designers to talk about how to create richer, non-oppressive web archives—archives that will better serve their publics and the historical record.

The first two days of the conference will consist of panel discussions and keynote presentations, covering topics from archiving human rights abuses to the right to be forgotten. Day three will feature workshops and unconference sessions.


Three-day conference pass: $90

New Museum or Rhizome members: $75 (email for discount code)

Conference sessions and some workshop sessions will be livestreamed, with video documentation available shortly after the conference. All online documentation will be offere free of charge.

Conference Sessions

Day 1: Thursday March 22

Time Event
9:30am Registration Opens
11am SESSION 1
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets: $15 / $10 Members
11am Introduction and Welcome

Bergis Jules [Travel delay]
University & Political Papers Archivist, UC-Riverside Community Lead, Documenting the Now

Zachary Kaplan
Executive Director, Rhizome

11:15am The Internet of Affects: Haunting Down Data

This talk offers a critical and practical meditation on haunting, information, and data visualization. What is at stake in parsing some of the differences between social media as data and social media as affective experience?

Marisa Parham
Professor of English; Director, irlHumanities Lab; Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Amherst College

12noon Archiving Trauma

Memory work is a necessary part of the always unfinished process of healing, fighting for justice, and seeking emancipation. Archives of all kinds can support this work, but they can also amplify the effects of trauma, stage it as spectacle for public consumption, or make victims newly vulnerable. This panel will explore both the potential for web archives to support valuable memory work in the wake of trauma, and to cause further harm.

Michael Connor (moderator)
Artistic Director, Rhizome

Chido Muchemwa
Writer, archivist, University of Texas at Austin

Nick Ruest
Digital Assets Librarian, York University

Coral Salomón
NDSR Fellow at The University of Pennsylvania Fisher Fine Arts Library

Tonia Sutherland
Assistant professor, College of Communication and Information Sciences at University of Alabama

Lauren Work
Digital Preservation Librarian, University of Virginia Library

1pm Lunch Break
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
2pm Documenting Hate

This panel considers whether documenting hate speech on the web have a role in dismantling white supremacy. What kind of ethical case can be made for devoting resources to archiving the digital presence of hate groups? What ethical guidelines are needed for archivists working in this context?

Patrick Davison
Editor, Data & Society

Aria Dean (moderator)
Assistant Curator for Net Art + Digital Culture, Rhizome

Joan Donovan
Media Manipulation/Platform Accountability Research Lead, Data & Society

Renee Saucier
Master of Information student, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Caroline Sinders
Machine learning designer/user researcher, artist, and digital anthropologist

2:50pm Web Archiving as Civic Duty

In this panel, we grapple with the ways in which researchers, archivists, civically engaged citizens, and grassroots activists can keep track of the official public record, even as government agencies seek to delete, destroy, and dissemble it. We look at unique challenges that archivists face in unearthing and preserving federal websites, government social media platforms, environmental data, and born-digital military documents. Together and with an eye towards the future, we reflect on the ways in which web archives and data are understood, (re)imagined, and contested.

Amelia Acker (co-moderator)
Assistant Professor, School of Information, The University of Texas at Austin

Natalie Baur
Digital Preservation Librarian, El Colegio de México

Adam Kriesberg (co-moderator)
College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Muira McCammon
Freelance journalist, war crimes researcher, and PhD student, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Hanna E. Morris
PhD Student, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

Stacy Wood (co-moderator)
Assistant Professor, School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh

3:50pm Coffee
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
4pm Curation and Power

Decisions about what gets archived, and what gets surfaced as part of archival presentations, reflect the power and politics of institutions. This panel will explore ways in which software and online platforms mediate, amplify, and obscure these dynamics in traditional and algorithmic forms of curation.

Morehshin Allahyari
Artist, activist, and educator

Anisa Hawes
Researcher, Victoria & Albert Museum

Margaret Hedstrom
Robert M Warner Collegiate Professor of Information, School of Information and Faculty Associate, Institute for Social Research at University of Michigan

Jess Ogden (moderator)
PhD candidate in Web Science, University of Southampton

Lozana Rossenova
PhD researcher at London South Bank University (in collaboration with Rhizome)

5:45pm Dinner Break
7 pm SESSION 4
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
7pm Algorithms of Oppression

In this keynote lecture, Dr. Safiya Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. Analyzing the ways in which corporate platforms use data and algorithms to normalize bias, she will suggest that web archivists have a responsibility to understand how these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices may be reproduced in their own work, both to make them visible, and ultimately seek to reverse them.

Dr. Safiya Noble
Assistant professor, University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication

Noble’s book “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism” was published by New York University Press in February 2018.


Day 2: Friday March 23

Time Event
9:45am SESSION 5
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
9:45am Web as Witness - Archiving & Human Rights

In a “smartphones everywhere” world, it’s critically important for archivists, activists, and journalists to think strategically and ethically about using, sharing, and preserving human rights-related web and social media content for advocacy or evidentiary purposes. This panel will explore how web archives can be used in an advocacy context, and the challenges and risks such efforts face.

Anna Banchik
UC Berkeley Human Rights Investigations Lab Member and Ethnographer; PhD Candidate, UT-Austin

Jeff Deutch
Lead Researcher, Syrian Archive; PhD candidate, Humboldt University; Fellow, Centre for Internet and Human Rights

Pamela Graham (moderator)
Director, the Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research, Columbia University Libraries

Alex Hopkins [Travel cancellation]
Web Producer, Airwars

Natalia Krapiva
UC Berkeley Human Rights Investigations Lab Member and Legal Mentor; JD Candidate, UC Berkeley School of Law

Dalila Mujagic
Digital Producer, WITNESS

10:45am Fidelity, Integrity, & Compromise

In many contexts, archives serve as witness and testament to crimes, corruption, and abuse, and hold sensitive information about vulnerable populations. What steps can archivists take before collection and after storage in order to safeguard web archives’ status as credible witness, and to protect the communities they represent?

Ashley Blewer
Archivist, developer, and technologist

Ada Lerner (moderator)
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Wellesley College

Michael L. Nelson
Professor, Department of Computer Science, Old Dominion University

Shawn Walker
Assistant Professor of Communication/Social Technologies, Arizona State University

12noon Archives for Change

Digital social memory can serve as a means to achieve political liberation: it shows that change is possible, and by what means. With the mobile phone and online platforms now firmly established as part of protest movements, activists have the potential to create and share rich, contextualized, and crucial records of breaking news and their personal narratives. However, they must also contend with new challenges, including censorship, data loss, and security breaches. How are archivists contending with these opportunities and challenges?

Lara Baladi
Artist; Lecturer, MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology

Natalie Cadranel
Founder and Director, OpenArchive

Lae’l Hughes-Watkins
University Archivist, Assistant Professor, Kent State University; Co-Founder Project Stand

Saida Largaespada (co-moderator) [Travel cancellation]
MLIS student, UCLA; Archivist, Los Angeles Contemporary Archive

Hannah Mandel (co-moderator)
MLIS student, UCLA; Project Archivist at MOCA

Mehdi Yahyanejad
Cofounder and Executive Director, NetFreedom Pioneers; Researcher, University of Southern California; Founder, Balatarin

1pm Lunch Break
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
2pm Building a Community Archive of Police Violence

A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland provides a sustainable, autonomous means for Cleveland residents to share their first-hand accounts of police violence in the region. In this conversation, Drake and Williams will discuss the archive’s conception and development, lessons learned from the process, and its potential as a post-custodial model for other grassroots organizations protesting various forms of state violence.

Jarrett Drake
Advisory archivist of A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland; Doctoral Student at Harvard University Department of Anthropology

Stacie Williams
Team Leader, Digital Learning and Scholarship, Case Western Reserve University Library

2:45pm Stewardship & Usage

This panel explores the tensions that arise between institutional archives–which may have roots in oppressive power structures, including white supremacism and colonialiasm–and the interests of the communities they aim to represent. How can communities be engaged in a long-term effort of record creation, collection, and stewardship? What tools are available to communities–particularly traditional or indigenous communities whose interests often do not align with existing technical and legal frameworks–to assert ownership over their own material?

Jefferson Bailey
Director, Web Archiving at the Internet Archive

Monique Lassere
Digital Preservation Librarian, University of Arizona

Justin Littman
Software developer and librarian at George Washington University Libraries

Allan Martell
PhD Student, School of Information, University of Michigan

Trent Purdy [Travel cancellation]
Assistant Librarian & Archivist, University of Arizona

Anthony Sanchez
Assistant Librarian, University of Arizona

3:45pm Coffee
4pm       SESSION 7
Location: New Museum Auditorium
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
4pm The Right to Be Forgotten

When individuals attempt to withdraw their materials from public archives, the goal of preserving the public record comes into conflict with the expectation of “the right to be forgotten.” This panel considers robots.txt, donor forms, and removal requests as negotiated encounters among people, institutions, and the law.

Nicola Bingham [Travel cancellation]
Lead Curator, Web Archiving, British Library

Itza A. Carbajal [Travel cancellation]
Latin American Metadata Librarian; LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Special Collection at UT-Austin

Joyce Gabiola (moderator)
PhD student, Information Studies, UCLA

Dorothy Howard
PhD student, Dept of Communication, UC San Diego

Katrina Windon
Accessioning and Processing Archivist, University of Arkansas

4:35pm The Ethics of Digital Folklore

Image macros, photos of kittens, and other vernacular forms–created by users, for users–are the most important, beautiful, and misunderstood aspects of internet culture. Digital folklore raises particular ethical issues for archivists and researchers in that users’ labor is treated as data fodder, attribution and permission are difficult to establish, and what gets celebrated and remembered tends to replicate existing cultural biases.

Frances Corry
Doctoral Student, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, USC

Dragan Espenschied (moderator)
Preservation Director, Rhizome

Ruth Gebreyesus
Writer & Producer

Ian Milligan
Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Waterloo

Ari Spool
Community Operations Manager, GIPHY

5:30pm Social Media and the Warrior Women Water Protectors [Moved from Day 1]

This conversation will address the role of social media in the movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline and its ongoing role in the way the struggle is litigated and remembered. In stark contrast with the American Indian Movement’s openly antagonistic relationship with the mainstream press in the 1970s, the Standing Rock organizers struggled to communicate an accountable and reflective message as thousands of independent media makers, armed with smartphones and social media accounts, rushed to join the cause.

More broadly, Facebook has emerged as the go-to organizing tool for Native activists, but it also platforms abuse, dysfunction, and distortion. What kind of ethical engagement with social media is possible in Native communities that have been deeply disrupted by internalized colonization?

Elizabeth Castle
Scholar and activist

Marcella Gilbert
Nutritionist and community organizer

Madonna Thunder Hawk
Co-founder, Women of All Red Nations Organizer, American Indian Movement and Standing Rock encampment
Grandmother to a generation of activists

6:30pm Offsite Reception

Day 3: Saturday March 24

Saturday workshops run concurrently; choose one per session.

Time Event
10am SESSION 8
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
  Ethical Collecting with Webrecorder
Location: New Inc — Event Space

This workshop will map key points and questions from conference proceedings onto approaches to collecting web content using This session will be both a tutorial on Webrecorder’s tools and an opportunity to plan how to translate theory into practice. Please bring a laptop to this session if you can.

Anna Perricci
Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships, Webrecorder at Rhizome
  Distributed Web of Care
Location: Auditorium

This workshop will introduce the concept of the Distributed Web and offer resources for users to get started with it. Taeyoon Choi and invited participants, including computer scientists and domain experts, will have an open conversation about the following questions:

1. What is the counter-narrative to the mainstream internet today?
2. How can we resist the capitalist systems of control and, instead, care for each other through the network?
3. How can we be free from databases and machine learning, and support human agency to build commons and spaces for assembly?
4. How can we start building the Distributed Web? What are IPFS and Dat?

Taeyoon Choi
Artist and cofounder, School for Poetic Computation
  Open Source Forensics
Location: Sky Room

This presentation will cover case studies drawn from the work of the Syrian Archive, which develops new open source tools and provides a transparent and replicable methodology for collecting, preserving, verifying, and investigating visual documentation in conflict areas. Topics explored will include geolocation, flight analysis, and munitions analysis.

Jeff Deutch
Lead Researcher, Syrian Archive; PhD candidate, Humboldt University; Fellow, Centre for Internet and Human Rights
  Ethically Designing Social Media from Scratch
Location: New Inc

What would it look like for a social media platform to be designed from the beginning to care for what is not just legally, but morally right for its users? Rather than focus on the technical structures of such a platform, participants will discuss the social agreements and community values that, built in, incentivized, iteratively assessed, and valued from the start, might sustain a healthy and generative online community for activist scholarship.

We’ll focus on four goals for improving online communities:
1. Reduce or prevent harassment
2. Encourage real-world accountability to others in your intellectual community
3. Reduce the stress of moderation
4. Recognize and reward volunteers who help with advising, moderation, and positive community design.

Katherine Donnally
Design Architect, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia

Zoe LeBlanc
Developer, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia

Amanda Visconti
Managing Director, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia
  Monitoring Government Websites with EDGI
Location: New Inc Large Conference Room

The Environmental Data & Governance Initiative is currently monitoring 30,000+ federal websites for changes in the information and language around climate change, the environment, and energy. Over the past year, EDGI has created workflows to interpret changes without publicizing alarmist and incorrect findings. This interactive session will cover some of the basics of this process.

Raymond Cha
Software Project Manager, Environmental Data Governance Initiative
11:30am SESSION 9
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
  Community-Based Participatory Research
Location: Sky Room

In the wake of this national convening, more work will still be needed in order to move towards widely understood best practices for engaging communities in long-term efforts of record creation, collection, and stewardship. This session introduces Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) as a possible framework for democratic decision-making in action-oriented research, opening up a knowledge-sharing discussion considering its possible use in participants’ own practice.

Natalie Cadranel
Founder, OpenArchive

Allan Martell
PhD Student, School of Information, University of Michigan
  Data Sharing
Location: 5th Floor Classroom

In this workshop, participants will learn more about existing modes for publishing social media data in archives and data repositories. We will discuss possible improvements to the state of the art, with particular attention to authenticity, verification, privacy and reproducibility of research.

Ed Summers
Lead Developer, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Sara Thomson
Research Officer, Digital Preservation Coalition, University of Glasgow

Shawn Walker
Assistant Professor of Communication/Social Technologies Arizona State University
  Webrecorder - Sneak Preview
Location: New Inc — Event Space

Pat Shiu
Associate Director, Design, Webrecorder, Rhizome
  Artists’ Studio Archives
Location: Auditorium with livestream

This workshop will discuss a range of issues related to the preservation of artists’ personal and studio archival materials. Topics will include strategies and resources available to artists for archiving both analog and digital materials, as well as community-driven approaches being developed by the Artists’ Studio Archives project.

Colin Post
Doctoral Student, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  Unconference Slots

Feel free to use this session to self-organize meetings or discussions with other participants. There will be several flexible spaces at NEW INC (231 Bowery) available for use during the unconference slots. No need to pre-book, just arrive at NEW INC and you will be allocated a space depending on the size of your group. You can share plans for your unconference slots via the EAW slack. If you are expecting a particularly large group, please alert one of the co-organizers so that we can reserve a more dedicated space if necessary.
1pm Lunch Break
2pm SESSION 10
Tickets $15 / $10 Members
  Preserving Our Digital Selves
Location: Theater with livestream

This workshop and discussion will consider how digital legacy-making at the individual level can be used as a tool to disrupt analog memory work barriers and archival silences. We invite participants to reflect on their digital selves by centering their experiences and contributions to digital spaces. Through dialogue, we hope to stimulate thinking on the necessity to create tools that are accessible for folks present and not present in this space.

Micha Broadnax
Contract Project Archivist, Converse & Harvard Law School Library

Jessica C. Neal
University Archivist, Coates Library, Trinity University
  Environmental Data Archives
Location: New Inc Conference room

In this session, representatives from Data Refuge will hold a collaborative workshop in discussion of 1) Open Data Advocacy, (2) Data Stewardship, (3) Data Literacy. The workshop will be an interactive conversation asking: how can the “story” of environmental data be told? What are the best strategies and “tools” for engaging the public and bringing awareness of the vital role of environmental data in everyday life?

Hanna E. Morris
PhD Student, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
  Ethical Design
Location: New Inc — Event Space

This hands-on workshop will delve into the ways ethical considerations can be turned into functional design features in web archiving tools. All materials will be provided.

Alexandra Dolan-Mescal
Design Consultant UX Designer, Documenting the Now
  Unconference Slots

Code of Conduct

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone,regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers.

Please review our full anti-harassment policy.

Credits and Contact

The conference is organized by Michael Connor, Aria Dean, Bergis Jules, Anna Perricci, and Ed Summers with the help of Shira Feldman, Kaela Noel, and Lauren Studebaker. Identity and website design by Pat Shiu.

The Advisory Board for the National Forum includes Jefferson Bailey, Director, Web Archiving at the Internet Archive, Jarrett Drake, an advisory archivist of A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland and Doctoral Student at Harvard University Department of Anthropology, Pamela Graham, Director of the Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research at Columbia University Libraries, Dr. Safiya Noble, author and Assistant Professor at the U.S.C. Annenberg School for Communication, and Stacie Williams, Team Leader, Digital Learning and Scholarship, Case Western Reserve University Library.

For conference inquiries, please contact For press inquiries, please contact