The Library of Congress Will No Longer Archive Every Tweet
28 December, 2017, 01:11 | Author: Janis Wilson
1, the Library of Congress will change its policy from collecting every tweet to saving ones on a select and more scrutinizing basis.
"As the twelfth year of Twitter draws to a close, the Library has chose to change its collection strategy for receipt of tweets on December 31, 2017".
"The volume of tweets and related transactions has evolved and increased dramatically since the initial agreement was signed", the library explains in a white paper accompanying the announcement.
Evolving and expanding social media has spurred the Library of Congress to limit its archiving of tweets. With help from Twitter itself, the institution acquired all public tweet text (including by countless members of Congress and several USA presidents) published between 2006 and 2010 and a promise to do the same in the years to come.
It also notes that only text tweets are collected - not images, videos or linked content.
One reason that the Library is stopping the comprehensive archive? The Library of Congress only archives websites on a selective basis, unlike the nonprofit, non-governmental organisation the Internet Archive, which has a much broader goal of archiving everything online with its Wayback Machine.
The intent has been to preserve the history of U.S. social media and how it's evolved. The explanations given by the Library of Congress, however, are much more straightforward and general than that. "With social media now established, the Library is bringing its collecting practice more in line with its collection policies." the Library said in a statement.
So when will future historians get to dig into the vast Twitter archive now being held by the USA government? But the Library sees its collection effort as a success that will prove invaluable to the people of tomorrow. The platform hosted about 500 million daily tweets in 2013, at which point the Library of Congress had already amassed an archive of roughly 170 billion tweets and counting.
More information is available in the attached white paper. The Library may even get to collect the tweet that starts a nuclear war.
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