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US Library of Congress Acquires Entire Twitter Archive (2010)

Be careful what you write

9:42 pm on Jul 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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They are actually spinning this as a good thing. What if you want to delete a tweet you posted years ago?

This is from 2010 but presumably they will keep getting the archives continuously.
Have you ever sent out a “tweet” on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress.

That’s right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions.

We thought it fitting to give the initial heads-up to the Twitter community itself via our own feed @librarycongress. (By the way, out of sheer coincidence, the announcement comes on the same day our own number of feed-followers has surpassed 50,000. I love serendipity!)

We will also be putting out a press release later with even more details and quotes. Expect to see an emphasis on the scholarly and research implications of the acquisition. I’m no Ph.D., but it boggles my mind to think what we might be able to learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of data. And I’m certain we’ll learn things that none of us now can even possibly conceive.
10:59 pm on July 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Good find!
According to the Library of Congress blog post, every Tweet since Twitter's beginning will be (is?) in the Library of Congress. Talk about public!
From that 2010 LC post, here's the "official" Twitter announcement of this: [blog.twitter.com ]
Importantly, in the Twitter announcement of this arrangement, are some specifics of the arrangement:
It should be noted that there are some specifics regarding this arrangement. Only after a six-month delay can the Tweets be used for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.

Now to discover if these are available from the LC online.
11:43 am on July 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What if you deleted the tweets? I delete all my tweets every month.
8:09 am on July 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

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Is the library of congress attaching a real human name to their record of tweets or making a link between twitter name and the account owner?

While I did relinquish all rights to my tweets the instant I published them I only allowed them to be associated to the twitter account name and details I provided... which is not my real name (for this very reason).

So, if the library of congress has my real name as an alias for the twitter account linked to my tweets they are breaking the law. I never agreed to let even Twitter reveal my real name.

It's the text at the bottom of the article that worries me...
We also operate the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program www.digitalpreservation.gov, which is pursuing a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations.

bolding mine.
5:45 am on Aug 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Just gives me the warm fuzzies all over.

(Excuse me while I go puke.)

After the Patriot Act - and a whole bunch of similar legislation passed since then - when I read far-ranging and intentionally ambiguous statements like that, my fur stands on end.

From now on, Twitter only gets my "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms" tweets ... the ones that would tend to show what a model citizen I have become.

Pity. Once in a while I actually had something to say that might have been worth reading.

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