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The Library of Congress has made a decision to stop collecting all your tweets

The Library of Congress has made a decision to stop collecting all your tweets

The Library of Congress will soon acquire tweets on a selective basis from 2018 having previously held all tweets that were public.

Still, it added that the 12-year archive of tweets already collected "may prove to be one of this generation's most significant legacies to future generations".

But the Library gave several reasons, including the "explosion in use", changes to terms and services, and modifications in functionality for why the agreement with Twitter was being altered.

In a white paper released on Tuesday, the Library of Congress indicated that the growing volume of tweets had become too overwhelming to store. "Given the unknown direction of social media when the gift was first planned, the Library made an exception for public tweets", it explains. There are an average 200 billion tweets sent each year, according to tracking site Internet Live Stats.

Jennifer Grygiel, communications professor at Syracuse University, said the move was disappointing from an institution "which is perceived to be the greatest library and archive in our country".

The intent has been to preserve the history of USA social media and how it's evolved.

"The Library generally does not collect comprehensively", the Library of Congress said in a statement. "In 40 years, I want to take my granddaughter to the Library of Congress and show her the madness I dealt with as a journalist...make every tweet count".

"With social media now established, the Library is bringing its collecting practice more in line with its collection policies", it said in the document.

Others questioned how the institution would determine which tweets are historically important. "Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation".

The library is now only interested in tweets with "event-based" merit or tweets related to "themes of ongoing national interest".

The part left unstated? Hopefully, humanity survives long enough to study the impact Twitter had on this garbage decade. Wouldn't that be something.


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