Contemporary history of Europe Digital history & historiography

Archiving Social Media in an Age of APIcalypse

Access to API is strategic for archiving and research. The recent European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) might be a decisive step forwards. But a recent report showed that the platforms’ policies set up to conform to the DSA are very diverse. And the efficiency of those APIs for researchers are yet to be evaluated. In other words, the DSA does not put an end to the APIcalypse: it is geographically limited, and the notion of “systemic risk” that is in the DSA remains ambiguous and this ambiguity allows those firms to restrict researchers’ access to their data. Last but not least, the DSA is not about archiving or about heritage at all.

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