Twitter Is Now Clearing Embedded Deleted Tweets

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    The programmer and open internet communities have criticized a Twitter modification that removes embedded deleted tweets from the public domain that are viewable on third-party websites.

    Twitter recently made a minor modification to the way Tweet embedding works to “better respect when users choose to remove their Tweets.” While embeds are used to save the content of a Tweet even if it was removed, it has changed its JavaScript to modify sites and erase that information. News sites that utilize the embeds for reporting are now susceptible to it changing the information on their sites.

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    This data is still embedded at the “code” level, but the embeds additionally load javascript for things like framing the widget to make it look nice. To put it another way, Twitter is actively modifying news information without the editorial board’s approval.

    While screenshots of tweets can still be used for reporting, they are less accessible to visually challenged users. When a screenshot is utilized instead of an embed, the possible context of a Tweet is lost, which frequently lends crucial depth to the message.

    Automatically deleting Tweets after a set length of time is already common practice, thus Twitter’s shift has already destroyed a slew of articles, obliterating historical context and citations in earlier reports.

    Importantly, when employing embeds, the underlying trust between the social media platform and journalists is now shattered. Few journalists would agree to have their work edited by a firm, and Twitter should not make this a prerequisite for utilizing its services.

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