Last week, Twitter rolled out a new feature that made researchers and archivists very excited: a powerful search engine that can surface virtually every single tweet ever posted. While Twitter already had a “real-time index” with a week’s worth of tweets, this full index is roughly 100 times as large, and grows at a rate of “several billion Tweets a week,” according to the company.
In a highly technical corporate blog posting, Twitter suggested that the new search is good for finding pretty much anything—from long-dormant hashtags (#JapanEarthquake, #Election2012) to that embarrassing tweet you sent on New Year’s Eve 2009.
Twitter’s latest advance underscores a constant about our online lives: Nothing ever truly goes away. Recruiters and potential employers can find out a lot about you with a few quick searches. (No wonder a majority of Americans fear for their privacy online.) Keep that in mind before you post something that could blow back on you later in a major way; it’d be too bad to close in on a great new job, or be on the verge of locking down a cool new project, only to have an interviewer or client ask about that weird video you posted with the goat.
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