22nd February 2023

German National Library plans to archive German-language Twitter

The German National Library plans to create an archive of German-language tweets that is as complete as possible, and is asking the community for help.

Twitter and the Twitter archive are an important research resource for many academic disciplines. Recently the platform has been in turmoil. Twitter has begun to rebuild the platform, and more changes are expected. Users have distanced themselves from Twitter in several waves or left it altogether.

As a result of these developments, scholarly access to the Twitter archive seems increasingly uncertain. From a cultural history and archival perspective, there is an urgent need to secure and preserve at least part of the Twitter archive.

Since the launch of Twitter, approximately four billion German-language tweets have been published. The Academic Access API provides access to the entire Twitter archive. It allows a maximum of ten million tweets to be downloaded per month. So for 4 billion tweets, it would take 400 months with one account, but only one month with 400 accounts to download all of the German-language tweets.

That’s why an initiative launched by the Science Data Center for Literature (https://www.sdc4lit.de/) and the German National Library on 20 February 2023 is calling for a concerted effort to download as many German-language tweets as possible from the Twitter archive. The German National Library is providing archive servers for the long-term preservation of the archive.

If you would like to take part, please contact us by e-mail on twarchiv@dnb.de. You will then receive a consent form allowing us to process your personal data; as soon as you have signed this and returned it to us, we will send you the link to the web application and a password.

More information: https://www.dnb.de/EN/Professionell/Sammeln/Sammlung_Websites/twitterArchiv.html

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