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Library of Congress will no longer archive all tweets

Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 27, 2017

Evolving and expanding social media has spurred the Library of Congress to limit its archiving of tweets.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, it will be selective in which tweets it archives — a break from the process of the past 12 years, according to a Library of Congress blog. The Library of Congress has previously archived all tweets "for the same reason it collects other materials – to acquire and preserve a record of knowledge and creativity for Congress and the American people.

"The initiative was bold and celebrated among research communities," the blog post says.

The first tweets on were published in 2006. 

"The Library now has a secure collection of tweet text, documenting the first 12 years (2006-2017) of this dynamic communications channel—its emergence, its applications and its evolution," the blog post says.

"Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the Library will acquire tweets on a selective basis—similar to our collections of web sites. The Library regularly reviews its collections practices to account for environmental shifts, diversity of collections and topics, cost effectiveness, use of collections and other factors. This change results from such a review," the blog reads.