Twitter Cuts API Access

Published: August 25, 2015

Twitter Cuts API Access, Twitter has severed API access to more sites that archive deleted tweets from politicians. The most recent targets-Diplotwoops and the international version of Politwoops-spanned at least 30 countries, but Twitter found the sites to be in breach of the service’s privacy policy.

This weekend’s development comes three months after Twitter cut API access for the US’ political tweet watchdog, Politwoops, for the same reason. The Sunlight Foundation ran the US Politwoops, and the Open State Foundation ran 30 international versions of Politwoops in addition to Diplotwoops. Both organizations lashed out at this recent decision.

“What elected politicians publicly say is a matter of public record. Even when tweets are deleted, it’s part of parliamentary history,” wrote Arjan El Fassed, the Open State Foundation’s director. “These tweets were once posted and later deleted. What politicians say in public should be available to anyone. This is not about typos but it is a unique insight on how messages from elected politicians can change without notice.”

“We’re disappointed that Twitter has decided to double down on its decision to kill Politwoops around the world, “Sunlight President Chris Gates added on his organization’s site. “There is immense value in tracking deleted public tweets, which offered an intimate perspective on politicians and how they communicate with their constituents. Our perspective is that elected officials and candidates are public figures, who don’t have the same expectation of privacy as a private individual.”

When Twitter cut API access to the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops feed in May 2015, the microblogging service said that “Honoring the expectation of user privacy for all accounts is a priority for us, whether the user is anonymous or a member of Congress.”

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