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Twitter Rolls Out Download Tool for Users' Archives of Tweets

I started to see reports Sunday that Twitter has begun to roll out the "download all of my tweets" function it has been promising users since this summer. Slaw reports that many Twitter users have recently begun to share that the feature is now available on their accounts. To see if it is available on your account, do the following:

1. Go to your Twitter settings;
2. Scroll down to see if there is a button for "Your Twitter Archive;" and
3. If there is such a button, click on it and Twitter will email you a zip file with your complete archive of Tweets in html form;

Users who have the feature available report that when you open the HTML file, it displays a page that looks like the Twitter website that allows you to browse your tweets by month and search the complete archive. In the EU, users have for some time now been able to obtain a similar zip file containing "account details, tweets, favorites, direct messages, lists and saved searches."

Why would you want to get a copy of your complete archive of tweets, DMs and other information from Twitter? It may be demanded in litigation, for one thing. As Slaw notes, "this provides another option for obtaining discoverable contents in what is increasingly becoming relevant in litigation." It may also "raise questions of spoliation where accounts are closed or downloadable content is otherwise destroyed." In addition, as long-term Twitter users will attest, it is otherwise quite challenging to find old tweets through a search engine or through the Twitter website. 

One additional tool I discovered today called "All My Tweets" allows you to bring up a list of your last 3,200 tweets -- which for me goes all the way back to February 2009. If you have been using Twitter for a few years, plug your user name in to All My Tweets and look at the older results that come up. If you are like me, you probably do not remember a large number of the tweets that were presumably of interest to you a few years ago.

Posted by Bruce Carton on December 17, 2012 at 04:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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