How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History

“Social media might one day offer a dazzling, and even overwhelming, array of source material for historians. Such an abundance presents a logistical challenge (the total number of tweets ever written is nearing half a trillion) as well as an ethical one (will people get to opt out of having ephemeral thoughts entered into the historical record?). But this plethora of new media and materials may function as a totally new type of archive: a multidimensional ledger of events that academics, scholars, researchers and the general public can parse to generate a more prismatic recollection of history,” writes Jenna Wortham. Wortham points to burgeoning efforts to tackle social media preservation by Scholarly Communications program grantees Rhizome and DocNow.

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ARTICLE CITATION

Jenna Wortham, “How an Archive of the Internet Could Change History,” New York Times, June 21, 2016, http://nyti.ms/28M6pf1