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Twitter has shut off access to the API that let the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops site track and publish the deleted tweets of politicians.
In essence, Politwoops was doing a public service by archiving politicians’ tweets, which Twitter doesn’t do.
The site may have lost access to the API and the deleted tweets some days ago. A May 29 blog at the Politwoops blog said the site was “enduring an outage.”
Twitter had this to say in a statement:
Earlier today we spoke to the Sunlight Foundation, to tell them we will not restore Twitter API access for their Politwoops site. We strongly support Sunlight’s mission of increasing transparency in politics and using civic tech and open data to hold government accountable to constituents, but preserving deleted Tweets violates our developer agreement. Honoring the expectation of user privacy for all accounts is a priority for us, whether the user is anonymous or a member of Congress.
The Sunlight Foundation has a long history of exposing the voting and campaign habits of politicians. The deleted tweets tracked by Politwoops were part of an effort to hold politicians accountable for their statements.
Calls for comment from the Sunlight Foundation were not immediately returned.
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