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The Library Of Congress Is Now Archiving Your Tweets In Real Time

By / 01.07.13

Ah, Twitter. The home of Olympics-shredding, astronauts making Star Trek jokes to William Shatner, Anthony Bourdain’s travails with a Cadillac, and people bitching about how they didn’t get what they want for Christmas.

And now it’s preserved for all time, both because we operate this site from an underground bunker rated to survive a supernova, and because the Library of Congress is archiving everything as it’s posted.

Yep, every dong photo, every racist tirade, every crappy joke, it’s all going straight to the Library of Congress:

The Library’s first objectives were to acquire and preserve the 2006-10 archive; to establish a secure, sustainable process for receiving and preserving a daily, ongoing stream of tweets through the present day; and to create a structure for organizing the entire archive by date.

This month, all those objectives will be completed. We now have an archive of approximately 170 billion tweets and growing.

Just for contrast, they get half a billion a day to sort now. Even they aren’t sure how these things are going to be organized.

To be fair, the Library of Congress’ entire job is to store and study the history of America as its published. That’s why anything copyrighted has a copy in the Library of Congress, a useful factoid if you ever want to find an obscure book or rare film.

And this will be useful the next time some political candidate or other ass decides to delete all his whiny Twitter material so we’ll be denied the laughs at their expense we so richly deserve. Still, we do have to wonder how this managed to survive all those government budget cuts.


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