Delete City is a WordPress plug-in that operates in the background of your personal blog. Every day, the plug-in conducts searches on sites like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc. and automatically downloads large amounts of content. With companies like Dreamhost and Bluehost offering ridiculuous amounts of storage space to lure in new users, a growing percentage of people with blogs have more storage than they could ever use, which is perfect for DeleteCity. These searches can be customized to download the kind of content that you want. For instance, if you are interested in puppies, then DeleteCity will only download movies and photos about puppies. Right now, we are focusing on movies and photos, but in the future we might extend the plug-ins to include PDFs, MP3s, and more.
After the content has been downloaded, the plug-in returns to the site where the content was found at a set interval to see if the content was removed or taken down by the administrators. This is a very frequent occurrence on sites like YouTube. There are many reasons why content could be taken down, from large-scale government censorship, to companies like NBC trying to protect their property, to the author simply deciding that they don't want the content online any more. For instance, try to watch this video of the Alexyss K. Tylor show, Penis Power. I'm not sure why this particular clip was taken down, but it very well could have been because Alexyss herself complained, or simply because it was flagged as inappropriate by enough users.
When the plug-in finds that a piece of content has been removed, it automatically retrieves it from the cache that was previously downloaded and posts it to your WordPress blog. It then emails the author and invites them to come to your blog and comment on why the content was taken down.
This site was inspired by sites like YouTomb and DelTube (which seems to have been taken down). In fact, you could say that DeleteCity is simply a way for anyone to have their own customized YouTomb or DelTube. The fact that DelTube is down perfectly illustrates why DeleteCity is needed. Large companies can take down single sites relatively easily. But once something is decentralized and hundreds or thousands of people all over the world are running a caching program, it is much harder to take something down from the web.
Research: Open Culture, Open Lab
Project Type: Activism, Hacking, Open Source, Software, Video
Tags: php, plugin, video, wordpress