[Air-L] Library of Congress Acquires Entire (Public) Twitter Archive

Richard Forno rforno at infowarrior.org
Wed Apr 14 16:15:19 PDT 2010

Donning my privacy hat for a minute .... 

I'm not exactly enthused by this idea, especially w/o Twitter/LOC giving folks the option to purge their tweets or clean up their streams that will appear under (in many cases) their real names for all posterity.  Granted, that would undermine the purpose of collecting the entire "Twitterspace" for the LOC's stated purposes, but how many non-geekish Twitterati will be upset/incensed/enraged that their stuff is now a matter of permanent public record at the world's largest library?  (Obviously, the whole "you-were-warned-and-should-have-known-what-you-were-getting-into-and/or-doing" rationale can apply in many cases.)

Yes, there's "social networking" as a general concept, and I'll endorse it completely.  But I'll also suggest there's derivatives to that concept called "public" social networking (ie, anyone can read/post, the owner doesn't care) and "private" social networking (ie, the owner uses and restricts their activities on a given SNS within their private social circles.)   Certainly, Twitter can facilitate online interaction --- but bravo to those savvy enough to make their Twitter streams private/friends-only at the time they set up their accounts. 

Would the LOC do the same thing witih IRC chat logs?  IRC is pretty much Twitter-esque.  Or is that too daunting a task because *anyone* can throw up and run an IRC server, but Twitter is a centralised repository and thus an easy thing to try and archive?

Doffing privacy hat now.


On Apr 14, 2010, at 6:13 PM, Michael Zimmer wrote:

> For those who haven't already seen the news, the Library of Congress announced today that they are acquiring the entire archive of public Twitter activity since March 2006:
> Library of Congress Announcement:
>  How Tweet It Is!: Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive
>  http://www.loc.gov/tweet/how-tweet-it-is.html
> Twitter Announcement:
>  Tweet Preservation
>  http://blog.twitter.com/2010/04/tweet-preservation.html
> And my initial probe of various open concerns:
>  Open Questions about Library of Congress Archiving Twitter Streams
>  http://michaelzimmer.org/2010/04/14/open-questions-about-library-of-congress-archiving-twitter-streams/
> -- 
> Michael Zimmer, PhD
> Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies
> Associate, Center for Information Policy Research
> University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
> e: zimmerm at uwm.edu
> w: www.michaelzimmer.org
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