Feeds

US librarian in chief puts Twitter into aspic

The first draft of history is now 140 chars long

Top three mobile application threats

The short-form outpourings of Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher and millions of other Twitterers are to be preserved for the ages after the US Library of Congress revealed it would begin archiving Twitter.

The prime DC knowledge repository asked the company, which lacked a business model until yesterday, to hand over all its users' musings so that future historians can dumpster dive through history, 140 characters at a time.

On its Facebook page, the custodians of the US's cultural patrimony posted a sober run down of its plans:

"That's right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter's inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That's a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions."

Its poster added, "By the way, out of sheer coincidence, the announcement comes on the same day our own number of feed-followers has surpassed 50,000. I love serendipity!"

If anyone doubts that Twitter will supplant dusty old media organisations and politicians diaries as the definitive recorders of history as it happens, the LOC has a handy list of key moments since the birth of Twitter.

"Just a few examples of important tweets in the past few years include the first ever tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, President Obama's tweet about winning the 2008 election, and a set of two tweets from a photojournalist who was arrested in Egypt and then freed because of a series of events set into motion by his use of Twitter."

Inevitably, some spoilsports immediately started ranting about the US government infringing Twitterers' privacy, though Twitter and the Library of Congress point out that only public Tweets will be archived. Tweets will only be handed over after six months.

As one Alfredo Gonzalez commented, "Now my grandchildren will be able to read about #redhotpooper."

Or, as Dave Land pointed out, "Turns the old proverb 'History is written by the winners' on its head." ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.