The Library of Congress Will No Longer Be Archiving All Public Tweets

Even the Library of Congress can’t keep up with Twitter anymore. For years now, the Library of Congress has been archiving every single public tweet. But now they’ve announced that their process for archiving tweets will be more limited starting 2018:
In the years since, the social media landscape has changed significantly, with new platforms, an explosion in use, terms of service and functionality shifting frequently and lessons learned about privacy and other concerns… Today, we announce a change in collections practice for Twitter. Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the Library will acquire tweets on a selective basis—similar to our collections of web sites. The Library regularly reviews its collections practices to account for environmental shifts, diversity of collections and topics, cost effectiveness, use of collections and other factors. This change results from such a review.

The white paper released along with the announcement saying that archived tweets generally “will be and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.” “The Twitter Archive may prove,” it continues, “to be one of this generation’s most significant legacies to future generations. Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation.” Not to mention the memes. Lots and lots of memes. [image via Twin Design / Shutterstock.com] — — Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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