Thursday, April 15, 2010

twitter donates your tweets to Library of Congress

Better lock up your Twitter if you don't want posterity reading your posts. Announcement today from Twitter at its first conference for developers: it's donating access to all but privatized tweets to the Library of Congress, going back to the first tweet dated March 21, 2006 from co-founder Jack Dorsey: "just setting up my twttr." The mission of the Library, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is to "sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations." A post on the Library's blog says it now holds 167 terabytes of information culled from the Web since 2000. Fittingly, it announced the acquisition in a tweet sent out to its 53,000 followers. Pity the poor dweeb whose job is to assign Dewey call numbers.

tip of the tricorner to Bill Green


Howie at Sky Pulse Media said...

This is not a good thing. Some hashtags are vile, polarizing, racist, and nasty. Does the library want/need that stuff? I understand it is 'part' of the stream and we have free speech. But there are areas of the Twitterverse that are very dark places filled with anger and hate. I know because I have a political account that leans left, but I follow many folks in Government and found some of the far right hashtags. And they are not nice in those tags.

commentbug said...

thats amazing, why would we want to acrhive someones lame tweet about "going to the movies", "taking a shower" , my favorite "taking a dump now" ,but just think a 100 years from now people we'll read my tweet our tax dollars at work.

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

@Howie I don't think twitter content should be edited, even tho, as you rightly point out, some of it (a lot of it?) will prove vile and nasty. It's a snapshot of a certain segment of population, a certain time and place. Tampering with it would be like cavemen going back and erasing portions of their carvings on walls, wouldn't it? Frankly, I find it improbable that most of the tweets will be actually read. Unless historians have a *lot* more free time on their hands in the future.

@Commentbug Was the "dump" line really a tweet? Ugh. Agree with you about the inanity of most tweets, but I think the idea is collection provides a mosaic of a small part of civilization as we know it. Or, as you correctly point out, lack of civilization ;)