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Library of Congress to Store Entire Twitter Archive

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Food for thought before your next tweet!


If you're on Twitter, and you tweet publicly, you're about to be immortalized in history. That's because the Library of Congress today formally announced its plans to begin digitally archiving every single public tweet ever posted since March, 2006. The Library broke the celebratory news via, of course, its Twitter page, where it also promised that more details would be soon to follow.

As ReadWriteWeb points out, there are still a lot of questions that remain to be answered. It's not yet clear, for example, if friend and connection data will also be included in the database, or if the Library is planning on implementing a new interface for users to search all archived tweets. More interesting, though, will be user reaction. Some may not be entirely comfortable about having their every tweet archived and cemented for all of history to remember, and some international users may take issue with having their Twitter history recorded in US history without their permission -- if, that is, international users are included at all. And should we soon expect the Library to begin collecting all of YouTube's collection? Will blog posts soon be placed alongside the Bill of Rights?

At the very least, today's news should be seen as a defining moment in the evolution of publishing. By bringing Twitter's massive storehouse of data under its wing, the Library of Congress has basically affirmed that, in today's digital age, we've all become atomized publishers. Twitter, Facebook and every other online forum already does the same archival work that the Library does. It's just that now, all of our digital data will be alongside pretty much every other important document in modern history. All questions and speculation aside, that's a pretty mind blowing thing to think about

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