Library of Congress to Archive Twitter Posts

Do you ever feel like Big Brother is watching you? Should you worry? If you use Twitter, the Library of Congress will now acquire the full history of all your tweets as far back as March 2006. What will they do with your tweets since they are already publicly available? No one knows knows for sure exactly. From Yahoo News.

Observers are asking what the Library and its users might do with the information, which is already publicly accessible but has never been properly collected into a single, usable database (particularly one with an academic bent).

The creation of a Twitter archive is really good news — not just for those in the future who need to look up what party P. Diddy was attending on Feb. 23 but also for academics doing serious research about how news is broken, how quickly information spreads during major world events, and how public sentiment on various topics changes over time.

Some big questions remain. ReadWriteWeb asks whether the Library of Congress will offer an advanced search engine for finer-grained insight into Twitter’s archives than current Twitter search utilities offer. But whether or not you and I have in-depth access to the Twitterbase, it’s academic research that will probably benefit most from this archive.

As the Library of Congress’ blogger says, “I’m no Ph.D., but it boggles my mind to think what we might be able to learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of data. And I’m certain we’ll learn things that none of us now can even possibly conceive.”

I don’t know exactly why the government wants to re-double the efforts of Twitter. Now, it wants to store everyone tweets on government servers. What a waste of taxpayers money! All for the sake of academic research! What will the government exactly learn exactly from storing this kind of data? Does it intend to keep a record of every individual who tweets including non-US citizens? I am wary. Should I worry?