Twitter is bringing back Politwoops, a collective of online networks that archives tweets deleted by politicians. The move comes in the wake of an outcry from various transparency groups like the Open State Foundation (OSF) and the Sunlight Foundation.
Politwoops was overseen by OSF which had another branch of networks called Diplotwoops, dedicated to archiving deleted tweets of diplomats. Twitter had shut down Diplotwoops in the US and 30 other countries along with Politwoops. Arjan El Fassed, director of OSF said: "This agreement is great news for those who believe that the world needs more transparency."
Although Twitter has reached an agreement with OSF and the Sunlight Foundation on restarting Politwoops, an official date is yet to be announced.
Twitter had defended its decision to shut down the sites claiming that the action of deleting a tweet is also an expression in itself and should not be reversed. Twitter had said: "Imagine how nerve-racking — terrifying, even — tweeting would be if it was immutable and irrevocable?"
In October 2015, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had apologised to developers at the company's annual Flight developer conference and said the decision to shut down Politwoops was a bad move.
Jenn Topper, communications director of Sunlight Foundation, stressed the importance of transparency tools like Politwoops. She maintained that such tools are necessary to ensure that government officials are held accountable for any statements they make, and create increased awareness about the relevance and significance of online transparency.