- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Library of Congress is ending its practice of archiving every single public Twitter post after accumulating billions of tweets covering the platform’s first dozen years of existence.

“As the twelfth year of Twitter draws to a close, the Library has decided to change its collection strategy for receipt of tweets on December 31, 2017,” the institution announced Tuesday. “After this time, the Library will continue to acquire tweets but will do so on a very selective basis.”

Twitter gave the Library of Congress an archive in 2010 containing every public tweet since its launch four years earlier, as well as access to subsequent tweets posted publicly by the platform’s millions of monthly users.

Twitter has changed substantially since it first partnered with the country’s oldest cultural institution, however, and the Library of Congress said it no longer sees a need for archiving each and every one of the throngs of public tweets posted daily.

“The Library continuously reviews its ongoing acquisitions, whether subscriptions to newspapers or the receipt of tweets via a gift. As a result of the review, the Library has determined that its initial Twitter collection will consist of a twelve-year snapshot of the beginning of one of social media’s most important and transformative communication tools,” it said in a white paper explaining the decision.

The Library of Congress will continue to archive certain tweets after Jan. 1, but will focus on posts that are “thematic and event-based,” including tweets concerning political elections, public policy matters or other issues of nation interest, it said in a statement.

Twitter has gone from processing about 5,000 tweets a day in 2007, to more than 50 million tweets daily when it partnered with the Library of Congress in 2010. The platform hosted about 500 million daily tweets in 2013, at which point the Library of Congress had already amassed an archive of roughly 170 billion tweets and counting.

Twitter referred to a blog post published by the Library of Congress about their partnership when reached for comment.

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