Twitter officially announced the return of Politwoops on Thursday.
After a four-month absence, Twitter reached an agreement with political watchdog groups the Sunlight Foundation and the Open State Foundation to revive the site, which logs deleted tweets from politicians. Although some of the saved tweets were deleted for simple typos or minor errors, others are more embarrassing, and the site aims to hold politicians accountable for past statements and policy positions.
Arjan El Fassed, director of the Open State Foundation, said “This agreement is great news for those who believe that the world needs more transparency. Our next step is now to continue and expand our work to enable the public to hold public officials accountable for their public statements.”
Twitter shuttered Politwoops earlier this year when it revoked the Sunlight Foundation’s access to its developer API. At the time, a statement from Twitter argued that politicians are no different from any other user, and that people have the right to delete content from the network.
“Imagine how nerve-racking — terrifying, even — tweeting would be if it was immutable and irrevocable?” the statement read. “No one user is more deserving of that ability than another. Indeed, deleting a tweet is an expression of the user’s voice.”
Back in October, Twitter founder and newly reinstated CEO Jack Dorsey hinted that he would be reconsidering the decision.
“We have a responsibility to continue to empower organizations that bring more transparency to public dialogue, such as Politwoops,” he said. “We need to make sure we are serving all these organizations and developers in the best way, because that is what will make Twitter great.”
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