It’s been an intense 24 hours here at Sunlight, and we’ve been incredibly gratified by the support we’ve received from journalists, technologists, Democrats and Republicans alike. But there are still many questions for Twitter to answer about why it shut down Politwoops, a tool it had supported for the past three years. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this situation has sparked an important conversation about the public and private nature of these platforms. In case you missed it, we thought you’d want to see these stories and reactions from yesterday:
From The Washington Post: “Twitter’s terrible decision to block Politwoops”
From The Guardian: “Twitter blocks Politwoops for breaching terms of service”
From Politico: “Twitter effectively shuts down Politwoops”
In addition to the thoughtful pieces written for dozens of major news outlets, we are deeply touched by the supporters who took to Twitter to share their feelings. While it’s not possible to include all of the thousands tweeting about the news, here are a few notable examples of those reacting to the loss of Politwoops:
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) June 4, 2015
Twitter cripples Politwoops, allowing politicians to delete tweets with reckless abandon & zero consequence. http://t.co/O5F9jsHaoX
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) June 4, 2015
Press Sec: Politiwoops got shut down. Thank god. Me: Hmm. How many tweets have I sent out with typos? Press Sec.: None…okay, a few.
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) June 4, 2015
Finally, it’s important to mention the Open State Foundation, the Dutch organization that shared graciously its code and idea of Politwoops with us three years ago. Some version of Politwoops now exists in over 30 countries, and we can only hope that Twitter doesn’t choose to shut down those sites as well. Please take a moment to read its press release about the news and check out the great work it does.
While we are are obviously mystified and unhappy about the fact that Twitter chose to withdraw its support for Politwoops, we’re happy that it has opened the door to a conversation that needs to take place. Stay tuned.