Donald Trump has tended to stand by his tweets as he continues a campaign driven in large part by shock value. But if the GOP presidential front-runner decides to be more cautious on social media as he gets closer to the nomination, he should know that his tweets will be saved for posterity — even after he deletes them.
Twitter on Thursday reached an agreement with transparency organizations Sunlight Foundation and the Open State Foundation to restore access to Politwoops, a tool that tracked and archived politicians’ deleted tweets.
The move is a 180-degree turnaround from the social network’s June decision to block the tool. Politwoops had been around for three years before Twitter cut off access. In August, Twitter also halted access to Open State Foundation’s Diplotwoops, a website dedicated to tracking deleted tweets sent out by diplomats in 30 countries.
At the time, Twitter justified the move through its developer API privacy terms and conditions, which prohibit developers from archiving deleted tweets. But its official response drew backlash from organizations and advocates that said what politicians tweet is a matter of public record and there should be an exception made for those tools.
— Twitter Flight (@Flight) October 21, 2015
In October, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey hinted at a possible comeback for the tools during the company’s Flight developers conference. “We have a responsibility to have an open dialogue with you to make sure we are serving you in the best way,” he said at the conference. “We have a responsibility to continue to empower organizations that bring more transparency to public dialogue, such as Politwoops.”
While exact terms of the new agreement haven’t been disclosed, both the Open State Foundation and Sunlight Foundation praised the move.
“This agreement is great news for those who believe that the world needs more transparency,” Arjan El Fassed, director of the Open State Foundation, said in a press statement. “Our next step is now to continue and expand our work to enable the public to hold public officials accountable for their public statements.”