The Internet Archive's Trump Archive will ensure that Trump's U-turns and lies can always be challenged

Cynics will argue that Trump's followers don't care if he's lying, but they assuredly care if he's lying about the stuff they're hoping he'll do (otherwise there'd be no trumpgrets); what's more, there's no hope of having a US politics based on rationality and reality if we stop paying attention to facts -- otherwise, we're surrendering to the "we create our own reality" army.

That's what makes the Internet Archive's Trump Archive so important, seeded with more than 700 of Trump's TV appearances ("speeches, interviews, debates, and other news broadcasts") culled from the Archive's TV News Archive, running to 520 hours and counting.

We consider the Trump Archive to be an experimental model for creating similar archives for other public officials. For example, we’ll explore the idea of creating curated collections for Trump’s nominees to head federal agencies; members of Congress of both parties (for example, perhaps the Senate and House majority and minority leadership); Supreme Court nominees, and so on.

While we’ve largely hand-curated this collection, we hope to collaborate with researchers to apply machine intelligence to expand this collection, building others and making search of our entire TV library vastly more efficient.

Such experimentation builds on our experience with first prototyping and then developing the the Political TV Ad Archive. Our first collection of political TV ads, covering ads aired in Philadelphia during the 2014 mid-term elections, was built largely by hand. However, in preparation for the Political TV Ad Archive, we created a new open source tool, the Duplitron, that was able to identify ad airings by deploying audio fingerprinting. During the course of the project, we collected nearly 3,000 ads and documented more than 364,000 ad airings.

Internet Archive’s Trump Archive launches today
[Nancy Watzman/The Internet Archive]