News In Brief

Library of Congress to archive your tweets

Melissa Kaplan Apr 15, 2010

The Library Of Congress isn’t lauded as the keeper of tech trends or pop culture, but the knowledge trove says it will archive the collected works of Twitter. The Library explains that up until now history, has written primarily by the elites; Twitter embodies the day-to-day accounts of real people experiencing real life.

Library officials are happy with the decision, and others are too, according to the New York Times:

Academic researchers seem pleased as well. For hundreds of years, they say, the historical record has tended to be somewhat elitist because of its selectivity. In books, magazines and newspapers, they say, it is the prominent and the infamous who are written about most frequently. But although celebrities like [Ashton] Kutcher may have the most followers on Twitter, they make up a tiny portion of its millions of users. “This is an entirely new addition to the historical record, the second-by-second history of ordinary people,” said Fred R. Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer at the Yale Law School.

Where privacy is concerned, officials say the archive would be used primarily for research and scholarly purposes. Not that most Twitter users want to avoid attention.

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