Weeks before an election, TfL makes it impossible to check facts

TfL archive of press statements has vanished
TfL archive of press statements has vanished
Transport for London’s online archive of press releases has been deleted, reports Snipe.

As Daryl explains:

“TfL’s website contains eight years’ worth of the organisation’s press releases. That’s four years under Ken Livingstone, four years under Boris Johnson. More than enough for the armchair fact-checker to work out if the mayor’s living up to his promises.

“But not any more. Quietly, six years of TfL press releases have been taken off the website – wiping out almost all mention of the previous mayor, and the early months of the current occupant of City Hall.”

Weeks before an election, a library of material essential for fact checking claims by both the current and former Mayor have disappeared. Very Pyongyang.

The archive homepage states “Our Release archive contains press releases issued in the past two years.”

But hold the cynicism, more generous types on Twitter suggest this is the result of a balls-up rather than a deliberate action to impede scrutiny.

Given their refusal to answer questions they find awkward, I’m less sure that generosity is deserved.

I’ve asked TfL to confirm who took the decision to delete the archive, when the decision was taken, what contact they had with Mayor’s office about it and any consideration they made of the material’s worth in fact checking claims, especially in an election year.

If they bother to answer, I’ll share their response with you.

Update: TfL deny they have deleted the archive. A spokesperson says: “there appears to have been a technical error with regard to the press notice links beyond 2010 This is being addressed and all links are due to be restored today.”

The spokesperson also says the notice that the archive only contains PRs issued in the past two years “is inaccurate and we are changing that.”

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