How Does Technology Help Preserve The History And Make It Accessible While Keeping Its Integrity And Credibility?

1009 words - 5 pages

In the developed world, a day cannot pass without an involvement of technology. The ease of use for personal needs let to the prevalence of technology over traditional types of media, such as television, radio or printed publications. Most of the world news is being witnessed in a digital world, as an average user increased the amount of time spent online from 13 hours in a week in 2009 to 23 hours in 2013 . The ease of use of technology resulting in more than benefit, as the ease of manipulation has become an arising issue due to the range of software that give an possibility to the common user. The overall objective of this essay is to answer the following question: “How does technology help preserve the History and make it accessible while keeping its integrity and credibility?”

On the 15th of November, a Skype call had taken place between such distant cities as Helsinki and Tel Aviv. In the terms of technology it was an ordinary encrypted P2P video call; however, to the participants the call itself had a greater significance. The students of International School of Helsinki were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear a Holocaust survivor sharing her memories and experiences from the Auschwitz concentration camp and the life after. The use of technology helped to expand the list of related primary sources through recording this call that is to be uploaded online for public access. The role of this recording varies on time it is being obtained; however, the significance remains the same. For today’s society, this recording is not only a primary source of a historical event from the survivor’s point of view, but also is an example of application of technology uses to impact on ethnicity as a whole through preserving a part of it. For the future historians, this recording will become a source of a critical importance, as none of the witnesses will survive to a certain date.

However, as a digital file of similar significance is being uploaded online, there is no guarantee that it will not become a subject of manipulation. Such a precious, primary source as the digital recording of this Skype call is a potential interest of a third party that would have been involved for its interest. As the recording of the Skype call is available online, it can be obtained for further manipulation that is – by today – easy to be completed. The list of requirements does not exceed the following: primary digital file to be manipulated, additional data files to replace the fragments of the primary file and the software to complete the manipulation.

In the modern history, the manipulation of digital sources has happened before. In the year of 2008, a pro-Israel pressure group CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) , formulated a set of actions constituted of rewriting the content of Wikipedia related to Israeli and Palestinian history. The plan also included taking over Wikipedia administrative structures to ensure this...

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