Twitter withdrew the feature to delete tweets

As part of a recent update, Twitter changed the way deleted tweets appear when embedded on third-party sites. A decision was quickly controversial and which was rescinded by Twitter…

A new feature on deleting tweets

Last week, Twitter changed the way the platform embeds and then removed tweets. if one deleted tweets Embedded on a third-party site still displays the text content of a tweet, that text disappeared, showing only a blank box.

To illustrate this change, Elon Musk deleted some of his recent tweets:

Remember, the content of the deleted tweet was still visible with the text still visible, but the formatting of the deleted tweet was like this:

As you can see, although Musk has deleted the second embedded tweet, you still have a reference to what was shared as text, which at least provides some insight into the original post.

Last week, however, Twitter updated the process, replacing all deleted Tweet embeds with a blank window and this message:

“Recently, if the tweet or account was removed, Twitter would leave the block quotes alone, so the embedded text would still show, but without Twitter’s verification.[Thenow-deletedembeddedbulkquotesdonotappearasafallbackbutasablankwhiteblob»[maintenantlesintégrationssuppriméesnes’affichentpascommeunesolutiondesecourspourlescitationsenblocmaiscommeunegoutteblanchevide»[अबहटाएगएएम्बेडबल्ककोट्सकेलिएफ़ॉलबैककेरूपमेंनहींबल्किएकखालीसफ़ेदब्लॉबकेरूपमेंदिखाईदेतेहैं।»[Maintenantlesintégrationssuppriméesnes’affichentpascommeunesolutiondesecourspourlescitationsenblocmaiscommeunegoutteblanchevide »

Functionality does not pass!

Twitter modified these web pages by obscuring the text with JavaScript – a choice that was not unanimous among many developers.

This new feature was criticized really early. For example, IndieWeb developer and former Google Developer Advocate Kevin Marks likened it to “tampering with public records”. He cites former US President Donald Trump’s deleted tweets as an example of public interest content that should remain available to users. Furthermore, this new approach to embedded tweets that have been deleted is “disturbing” according to him.

Marks isn’t alone in worrying that this new take on old tweets will harm the web. Other developers quickly followed suit.

Faced with this wave of protest, Twitter is giving its response. According to Eleanor Harding, the company’s senior product manager:

“We do this out of respect when people have chosen to delete their tweets. Very soon there will be better messaging that explains why the content is no longer available.”

At the time of the update, Twitter said it had not finalized its approach yet, and is now taking a step back to review it.

Facing multiple backlash, a Twitter spokesperson also announced:

“After reviewing the feedback we have heard, we are rolling this change back at this time while we explore the various options,” “We appreciate those who have shared their thoughts – yours. Feedback helps us improve Twitter. »

a temporary change?

The change seems to be temporary, as Twitter plans to explore different options. He has indeed confirmed his new project on the “Edit” button that, as its name suggests, will be possible to modify once shared tweets. The feature should have similar effects, as it will change the entire context of the conversation. It remains to be seen what breaks and limits this can generate to maintain the authenticity of conversations on social networks.

As a reminder, the integration concept was first introduced to Twitter in 2011 and that’s when they explained their plan to keep links to text from deleted tweets. But several years later, the company’s top executives and former CEOs made it clear how Twitter also functioned as a “public record” platform. Therefore, editing of tweets cannot be completely undone.

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