Twitter has axed a network of sites that archive deleted tweets from politicians across the globe.
Known as Politwoops, the sites were run by the Open State Foundation (OSF), which, in a blog post, said Twitter had suspended its API access Aug. 21.
Twitter reportedly told the OSF the move came after “thoughtful internal deliberation and close consideration of a number of factors.”
“Imagine how nerve-racking — terrifying, even — tweeting would be if it was immutable and irrevocable?” Twitter reportedly told the OSF. “No one user is more deserving of that ability than another. Indeed, deleting a tweet is an expression of the user’s voice.”
Although the U.S. Politwoops site was shut down in June, the site was active in a number of other countries. Now those sites have been shut down too. The list of countries affected includes Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Portugal, Egypt, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, Macedonia, Norway, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey and the Vatican.
The Diplotwoops site, which was dedicated to archiving deleted tweets from diplomats, has also been axed.
OSF director Arjan El Fassed was not happy with Twitter’s decision.
“What politicians say in public should be available to anyone,” he said. “This is not about typos, but it is a unique insight on how messages from elected politicians can change without notice.”
Politwoops began in the Netherlands in 2010 at a hackathon. Since then it had been further developed by Open State Foundation.
The OSF is promising it will “continue to explore and engage with others to keep public messages by elected politicians visible. The public has rights guaranteed under many constitutions to access information that was made at least temporarily available to the public.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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