Twitter shuts down PostGhost, eliminates record of deleted tweets


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/07/11/twitter-shuts-down-postghost.html


#2

Twitter sent PostGhost a cease and desist letter, effectively eliminating this public record…

C&D doesn’t eliminate a thing, unless you decide to obey. Probably Twitter has a godzillion times more lawyers, but I say it’s time for Anonymous to hack PostGhost and dump everything to WikiLeaks.


#3

This is a hard one to judge, Dallas PD was hammered for a day because they didn’t delete the photo they posted of Mark Hughes calling him a suspect in the police shooting.

I understand wanting to hold celebrities up to the flame when they try to retract something they clearly intended to post but should Hughes be subject to being called a suspect after he’s been cleared? What about celebrities posts that were just worded really shitty and they retracted, reworded and reposted?

I think the current screenshot capturing that people automatically do is sufficient without the need for an automated service to maintain every tweet.

@Boundegar Twitter can enforce the C&D by revoking the API access they have. THe C&D is more a warning that it’s about to happen if they don’t change what they’re doing. THey could try to switch to a web scraping system instead but they’re grabbing a large volume of tweets, probably enough to be noticed and also blocked.


#4

Since the tweets originated from its own site, it’s within Twitter’s right to censor anything and everything that it wants. Simply put, once we log on to the platform, it’s Twitter’s world, and we just live in it.

i think this is a genuinely bad attitude to take.

as a parallel, copyright originally allowed an exchange – protection of exclusive publication rights for an eventual release into the public’s hand. nobody ( reasonable ) believes copyright should be forever or all encompassing; allowing remixes enhances the public good.

similarly businesses in the public sphere are obligated ( in exchange for the protections law gives to the service ) to certain responsibilities. for instance, you should not be able to deny services based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

just because “internet” isn’t a good reason to throw those obligations out.

where to draw the line on the ability to hack at public ( and private! ) apis is a good question. postghost doesn’t seem to be trying to replicate twitter’s service – they aren’t trying to undermine twitter’s business – so this seems like something to consider legitimate fair use. ( whether it is legally already is yet another layer. )


#5

This is already being seen at the local level. My local (Australian) representative was recently voted out by the electorate. His Facebook feed contains many disparaging comments to members of his electorate, such as calling me a “terrorist advocate” because I thought removal of citizenship should lie with the courts, rather than individual politicians.
He has already started a sanitising process to clean out all the posts where he said something he now comes to regret. The result is the destruction of what the Australian Archive Office would consider official elector/representative communications.


#6

Couldn’t it be distributed as software? Create a Twitter client that simply follows tweets and writes them to disk. I get that a definitive storehouse is also a useful thing, but with thousands or tens of thousands of people recording tweets you’d have a decent level of depth. Then as a second layer have your own API that collects opted-in peoples tweet collections and databases them. It could even have a “Number of instances recorded” feature that allows people searching the database to have a confidence rating for each tweet.

Or is there a Twitter thing I don’t understand that prevents this?


#8

Hello,

I didn’t see a link to the original article that BoingBoing cites, so in case anyone wants to read that, it’s at http://www.techtimes.com/articles/169363/20160711/why-postghost-shutting-down-win-celebrities-politicians-public-figures.htm