Crime, Controversy and the Comments Section: Discussing archaeological looting, trafficking, and the illicit antiquities trade online
Lambert, M. and Yates, D. (2015), ‘Crime, Controversy and the Comments Section: Discussing archaeological looting, trafficking, and the illicit antiquities trade online’, Internet Archaeology 39.
In this article we will discuss the challenges involved in presenting the looting of archaeological sites and the illicit trade in cultural property to the interested public. We will contrast our experiences of building two popular illicit antiquities-focused blogs (Things You Can’t Take Back and Anonymous Swiss Collector) with the process of developing an informative academic website on the same topic (Trafficking Culture). We will discuss our motivations for starting these blogs, our struggles with the tone of the popular discourse on this topic, and our inability to escape our own emotions; why we have moved away from illicit antiquities blogging in the past year and why we are coming back. Finally, having learned from our mistakes, we will make recommendations to others wishing to engage with the public about sensitive issues via social media.
This article and the rest of the special issue Critical Blogging in Archaeology is available on the Internet Archaeology website.