Politiwoops, a watchdog tool that tracks politicians’ deleted tweets, was unceremoniously killed by Twitter earlier this year. Today, Twitter reversed its ban.
Last July, Twitter revoked Politiwoops’ API access, which made it impossible for the Sunlight Foundation-funded site’s ability to monitor the foibles and fuck-ups of politicians on social media. It was an odd decision, since Twitter had always known that Politiwoops technically violated its terms and services, but had allowed the site to continue using its API because it believed in its mission of transparency and accountability. It still doesn’t make any damn sense that Twitter revoked access in the first place.
Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey hinted at this change of heart back in October, when he gave a speech praising Politiwoops:
“We have a responsibility to communicate our roadmap in a clear and transparent way to everyone in this community. We have a responsibility to have an open dialogue with you to make sure we are serving you in the best way. We have a responsibility to continue to empower organizations that bring more transparency to public dialogue, such as Politwoops. We need to make sure we are serving all these organizations and developers in the best way, because that is what will make Twitter great. We need to listen, we need to learn, and we need to have this conversation with you. We want to start that today.”
It took longer than a day, but Politiwoops is resurrecting at a perfect time. As the presidential primary campaigns heat up, stupid tweets are likely to increase.