Some Not-So-Good News I’ve Just Heard About on the Web: How An Online Cyberstalking Community Preserves Digital Artifacts

By Eugene Hlaing

Faculty Mentor: Daniel Hubbard


Since 2008, an online cyberstalking community called the Christorians began documenting the life of Christine Weston Chandler (AKA Chris Chan), an internet micro-celebrity, on a MediaWiki page called the CWCki (pronounced quick-ee). Over the last decade, this on-going archive has become an unintentional project to preserve digital artifacts. Run by an insular subculture, the history and intentions of the Christorians is complex and controversial, much like the preservation efforts of the 20th century. Ethnographic data taken from observing interactions on websites and chat-clients such as Reddit and Discord, as well as interviews with moderators of the CWCki, unveil the culture and conditions under which the Christorian community has lasted for the last 15 years. The CWCki archive and its contributors reveal why and how dedicated amateur archivists collect, catalog, and save data at risk of degradation.


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