A month ago we had reported claims that MediaFire would be purging inactive users in January. At the time we had urged readers to log into their Mediafire accounts to reaffirm their activity and to consider looking into alternative file hosting services.
However, in light of recent events, Data Horde would like to issue a correction. Mediafire co-founder Tom Langridge was kind of enough to comment on the situation, stating that there had, in fact, been no change of policy whatsoever.
Although, as stated previously, Mediafire’s data retention policy has been updated with more concise wording, Langridge’s comment would indicate that this change was made purely out of formality.
Then this begs the question, why was there ever a sudden influx of “warning e-mails” in the first place? The warning e-mails aren’t anything new, but it’s the sudden increase in frequency which had many archivists alert. One possible explanation might be that this isn’t Mediafire’s fault at all!
(Click here if the above chart doesn’t load)
Even in 2021, Mediafire is one of the most visited websites on the web. But interestingly search interest for Mediafire has steadily gone down for years.
This suggests that disproportionally more of Mediafire’s traffic comes from visitors who are downloading files they have been linked to, rather than users who are actively uploading new files. If anything, uploaders (or potential uploaders) appear to be searching for Mediafire far less frequently. So perhaps, the cause of the warning e-mail influx was a dip in overall uploader activity.
Mediafire account removals and file deletions might be, and as far as we know are, happening; but not because of any particular change in Mediafire’s policy.
So where does that leave us? Archive Team is continuing with their #mediaonfire project, since it’s better to be proactive than reactive in cases such as this:
As for Data Horde, we have recently initiated a project of our own called MediaFlare. We have a simple link submission form where anyone can report important files worth preserving, which we collect into a public database. Archivists and data hoarders can then mirror files listed in this database to ensure their survival for years to come.
Many online communities rely on old uploads to Mediafire, even after accounts have gone inactive. With MediaFlare we aim to prevent situations like this:
I noticed this yesterday, with a fellow preservationist asking me to grab a bunch of their files off of MediaFire and some were blocked and removed already. Scans for crying out loud.via Jonas Roland of Hit Save!
Again, we apologize for misreading MediaFire’s policy change. But that being said, it is still very much a good idea to log back into old accounts. And in the case where this is no longer possible, we hope that you would be willing to assist us on the MediaFlare project, so that we can preserve valuable files for years to come!