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library of congress is now archiving twitter. all of it.

library of congress filing away our tweets automagically

that’s right. every piece of useless day to day information about what you ate, who you can’t stand, and where you are will be a matter of archival posterity. the idea is that tweets archived over time will record the actual state of things where the citizens of our nation are concerned, instead of letting a few know-it-all paper pushers record an agenda biased account of how things went down. i think its a great idea. sort of.

lets just pause for a minute and think about what this means. the library of congress has publicly announced that they will be keeping a copy of every single tweet you make. everything from your thoughts on tiger woods to how much you hate it when you find hair in your food, how much you drank sunday night, and how much you hated work monday morning because of it. all of this will be stored and undoubtedly used to trend america into a series of pie charts and bar graphs, sort of like the way everyone else is already doing now with all kinds of questionably acquired personal habit information about you. except this is for posterity, and will be kept forever. or at least until the archive gets hit with an emp device.

what makes me so interested in this is that is actually will provide a means of acquiring a general consensus on something. a real consensus. not like the results of a poll or mind numbingly complex extrapolations where unrealistic assumptions are made about key factors. whomever is given access to these tweets will be able to take a snapshot of a given point in time and see who’s talking about what and what matters most to people. the ability to tap into actual human responses to events and topics will be unprecedented.

all of this raises questions of course. questions like: who gets access? will there be an api of some type? what plans are already in the works for using this data? how in the hell are they going to store this astronomical number of tweets? Will employers begin to filter through these archives during the interview process looking for reasons not to hire people?

hopefully in the near future we’ll have the answers to these and other seemingly obvious questions. in the meantime, try not to tweet anything about bombs, drugs, or why you think your boss would be better suited in a career as a crash test dummy.

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