Opinion: Breaking: OMG! Library of Congress acquires every Tweet ever Twittered

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Breaking: OMG WTH @LibraryCongress sez its acquired evry Tweet evr sent. Will store every 1! 50mil/day. B careful what u say now. Its 4evr

RT that!

Do we need 2 keep all these Tweets? What u-no-who had 4 bfast, when whos-its goes zzzzz. Who was ROFLMAO!!


OTOH, don’t forget, there’s Tweet history including the 1st prez victry Tweet evr by 1st blk prez evr. And who knows what indiscreet Tweet Twittered recently will come back to haunt a future presidential candidate?

Twitter execs said this week the network now has 105 million registered users and is adding 300,000 new ones every day.

Despite its reputation among non-users for useless blather, Twitter also often contains pearls of shared wisdom. Such as:

A stationary stone kills the grass beneath.


A rolling stone gathers momentum and can really hurt.

Other Twitter fans use it to acquire urgent personal information like this afternoon’s open query about how long nipple-piercing pain lasts. That’s one to puzzle social historians in 100 years.

There are literally billions of Tweets already in existence since the social network began in March of 2006. How will they ever find enough drawer space to store them all?

As Matt Raymond, the Library’s official blogger, notes, the precious national library resource has been about more than books for a long while already. It’s been gathering online stuff ever since ever since.

Matt says:

The Library has been collecting materials from the web since it began harvesting congressional and presidential campaign websites in 2000. Today we hold more than 167 terabytes of web-based information, including legal blogs, websites of candidates for national office, and websites of Members of Congress.


And don’t forget, as The Ticket noted here recently, now C-SPAN has archived every program online, searchable, since 1987.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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