Large-scale efforts have begun to capture Twitter history before its gone

From MIT Technology Review:

Almost from the time the first tweet was posted in 2006, Twitter has played an important role in world events. The platform has been used to record everything from the Arab Spring to the ongoing war in Ukraine. It's also captured our public conversations for years. 

But experts are worried that if Elon Musk tanks the company, these rich seams of media and conversation could be lost forever. Given his admission to employees in a November 10 call that Twitter could face bankruptcy, it's a real and present risk.

The overall piece is worth a read, as it reflects on the serious ways that this social media platform has really served as an historical conduit for the last 15 years. For all its faults, Twitter has enabled some pretty incredible social change!

Fortunately, some savvy archival efforts are already underway. Maybe not the Arab Spring, or things of that import. But one savvy Tweeter, Nathan Allebach, has already created an editable GoogleDoc to catalog the site's history of memes, including social trends that emerged in emoji use and ASCII artwork.

Even just scrolling the 105-page (so far) of meme history is like a fascinating stroll down the memory lane of post-postmodern dadaism. Truly, what a time to be alive.

Emoji, ASCII, and Text Meme Templates Archive