Today, Twitter agreed to restore Politwoops access to its API. An agreement has been reached with Twitter that allows Open State Foundation to publish deleted tweets by politicians again via its tool Politwoops.The agreement that will bring back Politwoops online follows several meetings between Twitter and digital transparency organisations Open State Foundation, Sunlight Foundation and digital rights organisation Access Now.
In August 2015, Twitter blocked Politwoops, ran by Open State Foundation, in more than 30 countries that enabled the public to see what legislators and other elected officials, once had tweeted but then decided to delete. Now, an agreement signed by Twitter and Open State Foundation looks to bring back Politwoops.
‘This agreement is great news for those who believe that the world needs more transparency,’ stated Arjan El Fassed, director of digital transparency organisation Open State Foundation that launched Politwoops in more than 30 countries since 2010. ‘Our next step is now to continue and expand our work to enable the public to hold public officials accountable for their public statements’.
Open State Foundation will be able to continue to publish deleted tweets of politicians and public officials via Politwoops and looks to expand Politwoops to other countries around the world. Open State Foundation welcomes the agreement as it demonstrates Twitter’s commitment to freedom of expression and transparency.
This is the result of meetings Open State Foundation, Access Now and Sunlight Foundation had with Twitter during the past two months, following a statement by Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey at the company’s annual developer conference.
Open State Foundation started Politwoops in 2010 in the Netherlands and then helped expand Politwoops to more than 30 countries and parliaments, included the European Parliament and parliamentarians in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Egypt, Argentina, Turkey and Greece. After Politwoops was blocked, 50 rights and transparency groups across five continents, including Access Now, Sunlight Foundation, Human Rights Watch, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined in opposition to Twitter’s access block on Politwoops and called on the social network to restore Politwoops’ API access.
The coming months, Open State Foundation will relaunch Politwoops in the more than 30 countries it has launched the political transparency tool since 2010 and will look for support to expand Politwoops in more countries around the world.