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teknolojiarsivi.com July 16, 2018


Library of Congress reins in Twitter archives project

29 December 2017, 01:05 | Audrey Hill

Library of Congress reins in Twitter archives project

The Library of Congress said on Tuesday that it will no longer archive every public tweet. Instead it will collect them

For instance, as laid out in the Library of Congress' white paper explaining the decision, collecting all the tweets has become a more demanding task, thanks to expanded tweet sizes, and has become less worthwhile, because only the text is being collected.

The library is now only interested in tweets with "event-based" merit or tweets related to "themes of ongoing national interest".

The Library's halt on collection of all tweets puts Twitter more in line with the way that other digital collections are archived, including websites. In 2010, the institution reached an "exciting and groundbreaking" agreement with Twitter to acquire the text of every public tweet posted from 2006 through April 2010 in a "bold and celebrated" initiative that was praised by researchers. There are an average 200 billion tweets sent each year, according to tracking site Internet Live Stats.

Since then, it continued to collect every single public tweet posted on the platform.

Back in 2010, when Twitter was not an omnipresent part of the human experience, the Library of Congress and Twitter agreed to create an archive of all publicly available tweets to capture "the emergence of online social media".


The Library only receives text from tweets - not images or videos or links. Having all tweets also captures the response of average people to historic events; the white paper points to the collection of recordings of interviews made in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack as being similarly valuable.

The Library claims that Twitter's decision to launch longer tweets - users now have 280 characters per tweet instead of 140 characters - also played into the decision, though it's not clear why that really matters.

The LOC did not offer specific details regarding the selection of the tweets for the archive moving forward. 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". "There is no projected timetable for providing public access at this time".

The change will go into effect beginning January 1, 2018. They even went out of their way in preserving everyone's Tweets for future generations.

Fortunately, however, there's no shortage of people who save and keep records on the tweets of high-profile and historically important people ― like those of President Donald Trump, for a particularly prominent example. "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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