Every Tweet You Ever Send Being Archived by the Library of Congress

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Do you use Twitter? If so, every single message you send out publicly – every single Tweet – is being archived by the United States Library of Congress.

Observers say that this is a move by the Library of Congress to preserve for posterity the current culture as it is being expressed through voices on Twitter, both famous and unknown.

Says Library of Congress blogger Matt Raymond, “Important tweets in the past few years include the first-ever tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, President Obama’s tweet about winning the 2008 election, and a set of two tweets from a photojournalist who was arrested in Egypt and then freed because of a series of events set into motion by his use of Twitter.”

But, again, this isn’t just about the famous. It’s about what is on Every Tweeter’s mind in the moment.

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Says Raymond, “If you’re looking for a place where important historical and other information in digital form should be preserved for the long haul, we’re it!”

Nobody, however, seems to be talking about the downside of this: if everything you ever say in public on Twitter is being recorded, then, well, everything you ever say on Twitter being recorded. Everything. That everybody says.

Which leads to another point: How is the Library of Congress getting all this data? Obviously they aren’t following everybody Twitter. Did Twitter give the Feds a direct feed of all of our Tweets?

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One thought on “Every Tweet You Ever Send Being Archived by the Library of Congress

  1. I have cognitive dissonance when it comes to expectations of privacy for things posted to public websites, especially social networking sites, where posters share things that they seemingly want others to see or hear.

    If your tweets are public, it’s not like search engines wouldn’t find them, so it’s not like the LoC got there first.

    Case in point, look what shows up first on this Google search result:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22annepmitchell%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

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