The Library of Congress is going to stop archiving all its tweets from December 31, 2017 onwards. According to a white paper published by the government, tweets will now be archived on a “very selective basis”.
According to a white paper published by the government, tweets will now be archived on a “very selective basis”.
“As the twelfth year of Twitter draws to a close, the Library has decided to change its collection strategy for receipt of tweets on December 31, 2017. After this time, the Library will continue to acquire tweets but will do so on a very selective basis under the overall guidance provided in the Library’s Collections Policy Statements and associated documents (loc.gov/acq/devpol/). Generally, the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy,” the paper says.
The Library of Congress had entered into an agreement with Twitter back in 2010, allowing it to archive every tweet since the company’s inception. The plan was delayed though and the archive had been launched only in 2016. So, while it has collected a huge bank of tweets, the initiative hasn’t lasted for a long time. The LOC had published a white paper in 2013, explaining that the delay was a result of budget and software issues.
Given that Twitter records over 500 million tweets a day, the process was tedious and difficult indeed. According to The Atlantic, the effort grew more unwieldy with time, when the total number of daily tweets grew from 55 million to 500 million between 2010 and 2012.