Have you heard of the website called Politwoops? Well, if you have not, then you are hearing about it long after the good times of this website. The website, which has been of great fear and often embarrassment for politicians and celebrities around the world, has been forced to close down its operations in more than 30 countries where it has been active. This came into force after twitter, which is the source for all its data, blocked access to the social media website.
For those who don’t know about Politwoops, it is a website which stores the deleted tweets of the politicians and celebrities and thus often exposed change in mind or realisation of mistake by politicians and celebrities. The website often put most many celebrities and politicians who are active in twitter into uncomfortable situations by exposing their change in stand on various issues. For many it has been a nightmare, but for the common men, the site often exposed the politicians who rule them.
The website was started by open foundation in Netherlands in 2010. Since its launch five years ago, the website has spread its operations to 30 countries from Egypt to the Vatican, as well as the European Parliament. The website had been a useful tool to the journalists around the world, to keep track of the changing stands of politicians. The sister website, Diplotwoops launched in 2014 screens the deleted messages by embassies and diplomats around the world.
“On Friday night, August 21, the Open State Foundation was informed by Twitter that it suspended… access to Diplotwoops and all remaining Politwoops sites in 30 countries,” said the Open Foundation. The actions against Politwoops were started by United States, where twitter switched off politwoops long back in May. The website and its followers had voiced fears that it may happen elsewhere too and yes, it has now come true.
Earlier, Politwoops had access to the API (application Programme Interface) of twitter, whereby it was allowed to see when a politician deleted a tweet, which is often an indicator of change in mind, or realisation of a mistake. Twitter has now ended the website’s access to its API. Although there was no immediate comment from the side of twitter, open foundation has informed that it was informed by the social media giant that the decision to block access to politwoops came “following thoughtful internal deliberation and close consideration of a number of factors that doesn’t distinguish between users.”
Twitter says deleting a tweet is an expression of the users voice and no one user is more deserving than another of that ability to delete tweets. But open foundation insists that the comments made by politicians on twitter should remain in the public domain. They say that what the elected politicians say or tweet is a matter of public record, and what they say in public should be available to anyone.
The website used to give a clear insight on how messages form elected politicians can change without any notice. Now is this a matter of personal privacy or infringement of right to know of common people? World needs to think!