Proposal: Ethics and privacy in social media archives

As archivists and other records professionals begin to capture more hashtags, social media feeds, and websites as part of contemporary archival activities, how should we re-conceive of these activities within an ethical framework? There are significant privacy concerns associated with capturing a hashtag used by marginalized groups, activists, and those at risk of harassment online and offline. On the other hand, without acting quickly to capture ephemeral social media content, it is often impossible to recover it at a later date (for example, the Twitter API only provides the last 7 days of tweets).

This discussion will look at current developments within the archivist community to address these issues, as well as formulating possible responses for how UC archivists and librarians should contend with such issues.