Donald Trump’s Deleted 9/11 Tweet Shows The Need For The Politwoops Service Twitter Killed

Trump’s attempt to erase words that could lose him votes is a reminder Twitter now makes the deleted tweets of would-be and current leaders much harder to find. The Politwoops websites, which have a rich history of holding politicians accountable for their deleted tweets in over 30 countries, had their  access to Twitter’s API revoked on August 21st. Twitter had previously suspended API access for the United States version of Politwoops on May 15th for displaying deleted tweets of U.S. lawmakers.

“Trump’s tweet shows us why we need a service like Politwoops, not just in the U.S. but in the 32 countries around the world,” Deji Olukotun, Senior Global Advocacy Manager for Access, an international human rights group dedicated to an open and free Internet, told me in an email. “Politicians make decisions for all of us every day. We can’t depend on how they spin them later.”

Close to 50 human rights and transparency groups around the world have signed an open letter in opposition to Twitter’s decision. The letter points out that courts have long held that public officials don’t receive the same treatment for privacy as do private citizens, and that using social media to amplify their political views should necessarily invite public scrutiny.

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Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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