With less than 5 days left until YouTube will make most unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 private, time is running out before these videos are lost forever!
Fortunately, Archive Team has started a project to back up the metadata and 360p resolution video files for as many of these items as possible, and contributing is really easy! In addition to the videos themselves, data to be archived by this project includes the video watch page (including titles, descriptions, uploader channel, etc.), captions, comments, attributions, and thumbnails. The data archived by this project will be made available in WARC format on the Internet Archive and through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
To help out with this project, simply follow the steps to download and run an Archive Team Warrior, and then select the YouTube project. (You can also run the project using a Docker container using
atdr.meo.ws/archiveteam/youtube-grab as the image address.)
Additionally, people with lists of unlisted video IDs/URLs and unlisted playlist IDs/URLs are encouraged to share them so they can be archived.
In order to stay up-to-date with the project and be reachable in case of an issue, project contributors are encouraged to connect and stay connected to the project discussion channel, #down-the-tube on irc.hackint.org, also available through webchat.
Archiving progress statistics for this project are available on the Archive Team project tracker, and source code is available on GitHub.
After older unlisted videos are made private on July 23, this project will shift to archiving the metadata for as many YouTube videos as possible, though not the actual video files themselves in most cases due to the amount of storage video takes and limited resources of the Internet Archive.
It is nice to see that Human History can be wiped out so easily, but if you spent $20 at some
thrift store, or made a campaign donation, that could be tracked FOREVER…