Twitter users can breathe a bit easier now that Big Brother is no longer watching what you tweet.
Well, that's not entirely true. The U.S. Library of Congress announced that it will no longer archive every public tweet users post to the social media platform. Instead, the library is being a bit pickier with what they will archive.
Since Twitter's launch in 2006, the library has collected every tweet that was publically posted. However, the Library of Congress will only acquire and preserve tweets on a selective basis. This new way of archiving will start on Jan. 1, 2018.
How Will They Choose What To Archive?
In a public statement, the Library of Congress gave a bit more detail regarding how tweets will be chosen to be archived. In the statement, the library revealed that elections, national interest, and anything about politics will be archived.
According to CNN, part of the reason behind this move is time management. Twitter is a lot more active than it was back in 2006, so there is definitely more to keep up with. And with the tweet length expanded, the workload is tough and creates some difficulties for the library.
Furthermore, the Library of Congress said that it took a different approach to collecting information through social media in its startup period, but now that social media is more established, they will bring their collecting practices more in line with their normal procedure.
Why Is The Library Archiving Tweets?
The Library of Congress has been around since the 1800s and serves the unofficial library of the United States. It is also Congress' official research library.
Since 2000, the library has been collecting web pages that document different government information and activity, such as Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey tweeting Barack Obama after his win in 2008.
The library was given access to Twitter's archives dating back to 2006 and it's been working hard to get those tweets put into the Congress library. The library today is a massive size carrying over 300 TB of information.
Getting over the thought of Big Brother always watching you, the archive is actually an interesting view into how our world has evolved in the years, especially in terms of communication. Unfortunately, no one will be able to see until the Library of Congress opens the archive to the public. But first, it will need to figure out a way to make it "cost-effective and sustainable."