Tweets in the Library of Congress
Today, the Library of Congress announced that they are going to preserve public Twitter updates. Supposedly they’ll be using the tweets for a variety of reasons, including “to learn more about ourselves and the world around us” as well as “for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library itself, and preservation.”
My opinion: not cool. The government is taking social media to a level far beyond where we want them to take it. Sure, it’s cool to get facts from @whitehouse and @BarackObama. It’s interesting to know we can tweet our senators and get the inside scoop on what’s really going on. At the same time, most of us like to keep things separate. If I wanted everyone reading my tweets, I’d sync it everywhere, wear a t-shirt that says “Follow Me”, and just Twitter-whore myself but that’s not the case.
I’ve been on Twitter for over a year now. My personal profile, @AlluringBri, was public up until there was a massive spam bot following, where Britney Spears porn robots were adding me at a rapid rate. Initially, it was more for keeping my account free from spam. Now, I keep it private for the sake of being selective. It’s similar to how I had my MySpace page and Facebook account. If you’re not my friend, you can’t read my info. I’m a little more selective with my Facebook; I try not to add people I don’t personally know. With Twitter, even though my account is private, whoever requests to follow me, I tend to allow them to do so. I figure I must be pretty interesting.
With the government, however, it’s slightly different. I have speculations that they track my every move anyways. I try not to use GPS features unless I need directions. I’m a Law and Order fanatic and my family works in law enforcement, so I know how easy it could be for 10 cop cars and 3 helicopters to find me while I’m grabbing a smoothie at Jamba Juice. I feel the same way with social media. It creeps me out to think my future kids can say “I wonder what mommy was thinking June 1, 2009. Oh! Let’s go to the Library of Congress and check her Twitter updates!” Inappropriate much?
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have much to hide. I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t party and mouth off (too much) about our government. I just think it’s a breach in privacy! My other accounts are public, specifically for search engine and social media optimization purposes, but my personal stuff is slightly personal. The only people I want to know about it are the people I allow in. The fact of the matter is, Big Brother is no longer just watching; he’s reading too.
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- How Tweet It Is!: Library Acquires Entire Twitter Archive (Matt Raymond/Library of Congress Blog) (techmeme.com)
- Library of Congress to Preserve Tweets for Eternity (mashable.com)