Twitter restores texts of deleted embedded tweets after criticisms

April 12, 2022

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If you have noticed some inconsistent changes in your deleted tweets over the past weeks, it’s because Twitter is silently making some changes on the platform. After the initial unannounced change where deleted tweets would leave obvious blanks on pages, Twitter has now reversed its decision by restoring texts of deleted tweets embedded on external websites.

The reversal of the decision came after a series of criticism Twitter received from individuals concerned about the growing challenges of misinformation on the web. With the text content of a deleted tweet embedded in a web page, it could be easier for users to remove the history of their tweets. This is the same concern about the upcoming Edit button that some claim could only foster more information in the place.

Former CTO of Kickstarter and co-founder of the XOXO Festival, Andy Baio, described the step as “a huge problem for preserving the historical record.” meanwhile, Kevin Marks, an Open Web Advocate and IndieWeb developer, directly expressed his disappointment about the sudden news. “hi @TwitterEng – you broke the fallback case in the tweet embedding js for deleted tweets,” Marks’ tweet reads, calling out the Twitter Senior Product Manager, Eleanor Harding. “Previously they would not be decorated and show the <blockquote> html version. Now they’re turned into empty white boxes. Do you want us to go back to screenshots?”

Harding, in response to the tweet, replies: “Hey Kevin! We’re doing this to better respect when people have chosen to delete their Tweets. Very soon it’ll have better messaging that explains why the content is no longer available 🙂 my DMs are open if you’d like to chat more about this.”

However, the criticism continued, causing Twitter to revoke its decision. “After considering the feedback we heard, we’re rolling back this change for now while we explore different options,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We appreciate those who shared their points of view – your feedback helps us make Twitter better.”

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