Flickr photo by Marc_SmithYou'd better watch what you tweet. Your great-great-great-great-grandchildren might be able to look up all of your quippy, drunk wisdom-imparting words some day.
The Library of Congress (the place that stores our country's important information and cultural history) has determined that Twitter musings are worth preserving, and every public tweet made since Twitter began, will be archived digitally there.
Fittingly, the Library made the announcement via its own Twitter feed:
"Library to acquire ENTIRE Twitter archive -- ALL public tweets, ever, since March 2006! Details to follow."
Details followed on the Library's blog: "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."
Academic researchers are excited because finally the historical record will be less elitest. “This is an entirely new addition to the historical record, the second-by-second history of ordinary people,” Fred R. Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer at the Yale Law School, told the New York Times.
Worried about your privacy? The word is that the Twitter archive will be available only for scholarly and research purposes, and the majority of Twitter messages that will be archived are those that are publicly published.
So unless you expect your descendents will be scholarly, researchy types, you've got nothing to worry about. But, if you're at all nervous about looking good to future generations, keep this advice in mind: Think Before You Tweet.
Speaking of which, you can follow me here: @thestirsuzanne