Washington, DC. – The Library of Congress announced about changing its ever-pending plan about putting every tweet on Twitter in an archive.
The Library of Congress serves as the official research and national library of the USA. It is also the most extensive library in the whole world. Even though it is called a library, it does not only contain or house books. LOC has collected various materials from the internet and has harvested presidential and congressional campaigns since the year 2000.
Today, LOC owns internet-based information of up to 167 terabytes. They have every vital information and essential historical events that were converted in digital form. Their goal is to preserve that information for future purposes or use of the next generation.
According to Gizmodo, LOC announced that the archiving of tweets would officially stop on December 31, 2017. Until then, they will only be choosing the tweets that they will put on the archive carefully.
This announcement was published lately in a white paper. The published decision stated that the Library of Congress would only archive or collect tweets depending on the events that are happening. These activities include events of national interest, elections, and others that concern the public.
Before, LOC has already made their first announcement about making an archive where everyone can do a single search of various tweets that were created seven years ago. However, the plan of the LOC remained a pending project for several years. Even though the archive is inaccessible, for now, LOC has already started archiving everyone’s tweets since 2010.
In the year 2013, they made another publication on white paper saying that the delays were caused by a lack of appropriate software and a shortage of budget. Aside from that, Twitter has written on the terms of the agreement that they do not allow the copy or download of any part of their website.
In the year 2016, there was still no news about the launching of the project. According to The Atlantic, LOC has hired several engineers to do the messy and massive job concerning the archive. In the year 2010, there were 55 million tweets daily, and it increased to up to 500 million in 2012. Hence, the increasing number of tweets every year added to the challenge and had made it more unmanageable.
Recently, the Library of Congress has published a white paper that informed everybody about their new decision. They have decided to narrow down the scope of the project because they believed that Twitter underwent many changes over time. Gizmodo also found out that LOC has been only archiving texts. This means that the number of tweets that needs to be filed is reduced because tweets with images and videos were not collected. LOC believed that those kinds of tweets could be worthless or irrelevant to the archive.
According to the Library of Congress, the existing archive will stay inaccessible until they have resolved the issues. They did not give a specific date on when they can provide access to the archive as well.