Health Care

The Library of Congress is done archiving your silly tweets

The Library of Congress is done archiving your silly tweets”

Starting on Jan 1, 2018, the library will apply the same selective discretion to tweets that it uses for other documents, collecting and archiving material around themes or events of outcome. "Generally, the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy", the library said.

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.

From December 31, the Library of Congress will no longer archive all posts but will still collect tweets deemed historically significant. There are an average 200 billion tweets sent each year, according to tracking site Internet Live Stats.

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The institution says it will continue to preserve its collection of tweets from the platform's first 12 years, but indicates that it has yet to figure out exactly how to make the archive public.

It also cited Twitter's longer 280-character tweets in its decision as well.

In April 2010, the Library and Twitter signed an agreement providing the Library the public tweets from the company's inception through the date of the agreement, an archive of tweets from 2006 through April 2010.

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"With social media now established, the library is bringing its collecting practice more in line with its collection policies", it said in the document. Tweets now are more often visual than simply textual. Another ground for the change is the fact that the Library very rarely engages in such comprehensive data collection.

"Given the unknown direction of social media when the gift was first planned, the Library made an exception for public tweets", it explains in the white paper. The officials said several issues should be resolved before access is granted, including finding ways to "respect the intent of the producers of the content", honor Twitter's access requirements, and "manage tax payer-provided resources wisely".

These complications affected public access to the archive. So that means for now we can not see this classless, albeit hilarious original Tweet by Donald Trump on September 11, 2013 which he has since deleted.

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Nevertheless, the library's existing collection offers a "snapshot" of a unique moment in history, it said. "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".

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