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Title:What Happens to Tweets? Descriptions of Temporality in Twitter's Organizational Rhetoric
Author(s):Proferes, Nicholas
Library of Congress
organizational rhetoric
content analysis
Abstract:This paper presents the results of a content analysis of Twitter's organizational rhetoric. Focusing on the language generated by Twitter's founders in interviews and on the language that Twitter uses to describe its service on the website, this analysis establishes how these messages describe and depict the temporality of tweets and the Twitter platform. This study finds that nearly all of the organizational rhetoric sampled depicts a real-time nature of the medium while descriptions regarding what happens to tweets in the long-term are almost entirely absent. This finding is presented in juxtaposition with the Library of Congress's announcement of the acquisition of Twitter's full archive of tweets in 2010. Following this announcement, many Twitter users professed not realizing tweets were being saved. In light of the results of analysis of Twitter's organizational rhetoric and the Library of Congress comments, this paper discusses how Twitter's organizational rhetoric may provide users with an incomplete picture of the temporality of the service and of the long-term storage of tweets. This paper concludes by discussing the potential implications for users' abilities to self-direct and make informed choices about the use of the platform if this organizational rhetoric is taken uncritically.
Issue Date:2014-03-01
Citation Info:Proferes, N. (2014). What Happens to Tweets? Descriptions of Temporality in Twitter's Organizational Rhetoric. In iConference 2014 Proceedings (p. 76 - 87). doi:10.9776/14045
Series/Report:iConference 2014 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Other Identifier(s):45
Publication Status:published
Peer Reviewed:yes
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 is held by the authors of individual items in the proceedings. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-02-28

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