The allure of Twitter data for historical analysis is heady. The volume of tweeted posts since the microblogging service was launched in 2006 represents a wealth of recent historical data as well as a deep pool of social memory offering insight into how the past circulates in the present. This article considers the promise, possibilities, and problems of accessing and analyzing Twitter data. To help illuminate the broader issues of method and methodology, a case study is used: the social memory on Twitter of the prominent Australian LGBT athlete Ian Roberts, who came out as gay in 1995, especially the ways he is evoked when other athletes come out. Via this selective emphasis, this article questions the viability for sport historians to investigate Twitter data.


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pp. 322-335
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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