4-year old tab closed, never read - The Beaverton

4-year old tab closed, never read

NORTH BAY, ON – On Sunday, William Herd finally closed a browser tab he had opened four years ago. The tab contained a long-read from ProPublica on what the world can expect from a Trump presidency.

Herd opened the tab back in early 2017 when he was feeling anxious about what damage Trump might do while in office.

“The world was in shock and I wanted to prepare myself for what this might mean to free trade and international climate initiatives. I mentioned this in a Facebook post and an American friend recommended this great long read that was really insightful,” said Herd. “It seemed interesting so I’ve kept it open but the effort to finish the article was overwhelming.”

The first time Herd started the article, he quit when he got to the read more button. A few months later, he started again but got an ad for a new game and then spent the rest of day crushing candy in new and exciting ways. The last time he attempted to read the article, he got to a name he recognized, but couldn’t remember from where, which led him into a 19-hour internet rabbit hole.

ProPublica was disappointed to hear that Herd had closed that tab.

“Every time he reopened his browser and selected Restore All Tabs, we would add to the view count. We understand most people never finish our articles, but we keep putting them out because people like to feel like the kind of person who would read a long-read,” explained a ProPublica representative. 

At press time, Herd still had over 39 tabs open including articles, such as ‘how to launch a podcast before the market gets saturated,’ ‘the best movies of 2015 you haven’t watched,’ and ‘this 48-hour brined chicken will impress your mother,’ and had just opened a replacement tab, ‘2030: why humanity should be hopeful for a dystopian future.’