Twitter appears to have quietly changed a key way to preserve deleted tweets
Now there are countless old posts where instead of a tweet there is just a blank box with no context. For example, former President Donald Trump’s tweets have been regularly quoted by the media. Even after the permanent suspension of his account, the text of these missives was still visible on the sites where it had been integrated. Now, that is no longer the case.
Twitter product manager Eleanor Harding told Marks the change was made “to better respect when people have chosen to delete their Tweets.” A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment further on the change.
Still, it’s a curious move because, as Marks points out in his post, Twitter’s original choice to keep text from deleted tweets was an intentional choice on the part of Twitter engineers. “If deleted, or 1000 years in the future, the text remains,” former Twitter engineer Ben Ward wrote in 2011 when the tweets integration was first announced.
This aligns with statements by other Twitter executives over the years about Twitter’s importance as a kind of “public document.” For example, former CEO Jack Dorsey said he was hesitant to create an edit button because it could erode Twitter’s ability to function as a public record. “It’s really essential that we preserve that,” he said at the time.
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