Twitter’s encouraging promise to “reboot” transparency

(Image credit: The Sunlight Foundation)

During the keynote address at Flight, Twitter’s 2015 Developer Conference, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made a commitment to “reboot” Twitter’s relationship with the transparency sector. Even more encouraging to us here at Sunlight was that he specifically named Politwoops as an example. (You can watch video of Dorsey’s remarks here.)

“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today acknowledged his company’s responsibility to empower organizations that advocate for transparency and accountability in government, and specifically cited Politwoops,” said Sunlight Foundation President Chris Gates. “We look forward to rebooting the dialogue with Twitter about how it can play an active role in promoting openness and transparency around the world.”

“The stakes are high as the 2016 election approaches, and this issue has never been more important. The public has a right to hold elected officials and candidates accountable to the statements they make, whether online or off.”

Twitter pulled the plug on the U.S. version of Politwoops in June, and on 30 of our worldwide partners in August, after determining that the tools violated its terms of service.

The United States has firmly settled case law ruling that elected officials and candidates have a different expectation of privacy than the general public. Twitter is an increasingly important part of how our elected officials communicate with the public in real time. Constituents have a right to see how the people they elect communicate online. Our site was never about blunders or typos, but rather about revealing a more intimate perspective of how politicians communicate online.