Caching in on a censorship get-around

So Boris Johnson has experienced his first major public relations disaster.

When it was suggested to James McGrath, a key political advisor to Johnson, that the prospect of a right-wing London mayor might encourage older Caribbean migrants to leave London and return homeward, he responded: “Well, let them go if they don’t like it here.”

Marc Wadsworth’s original post which broke the story (and which, it has to be said, reads more like a part-serialised autobiography than a political scoop) has given rise to no shortage of net chatter.

Yesterday in Comment is Free, the author of the scoop set about those on the right who are still (reluctantly) coming to terms with the spin doctor’s dismissal.

This post links to a list of search results in Google, containing one link in particular, three down the list to be precise, written by Andrew Lilico (and hosted on a ‘hub for the British conservative movement‘), titled Marc Wadsworth is a racist.

Controversial stuff. What does it say?

Don’t know. If you click on the link in question all you’ll get is an HTTP 404 message telling you: The webpage cannot be found.

It’s been removed. So why link to a page of Google results containing a link that no longer works? Well, rather than clicking on the dead link, if you click on Google’s Cached option for this page, you will see the page as it was when it was last indexed by Google, is still there.

Thus getting round the pesky tendency people have on the net these days to delete, delete, delete when they’ve put their foot in it!

That said, this isn’t the only place Mr Lilico has made these assertions – see the cached link for the first page in these Yahoo results (scroll down the page to a response dated June 22, 2008 at 22:49 by Lilico in which he repeats his accusations).

With both Google and Yahoo offering the cached option on many pages, it’s still possible to get past the censors to those politically awkward things people blog about.

It should be noted too though, that this page is not available in the The Internet Archive.


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