Open State preserves Politwoops’ history on the net

1 million deleted tweets by politicians uploaded to the Internet Archive

16 SEPTEMBER 2015, AMSTERDAM
Summary
In a move to preserve the public record for everyone, Open State has uploaded its complete Politwoops archive of deleted tweets by politicians to the Internet Archive. The archive consists of 1,106187 deleted tweets by 10,404 politicians collected in 35 countries and parliaments over a period of five years.

In a move to preserve the public record for everyone, Open State has uploaded its complete Politwoops archive of deleted tweets by politicians to the Internet Archive. The archive consists of 1,106187 deleted tweets by 10,404 politicians collected in 35 countries and parliaments over a period of five years.

In August, Twitter blocked Politwoops 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.

Open State Foundation started Politwoops in 2010 in the Netherlands and then helped expand Politwoops to more than 30 countries and parliaments, included the United States, the European Parliament and countries like Egypt, Argentina, Turkey and Greece.

‘Social networks should take into account international norms about transparency and the right to information’, says Arjan El Fassed, director of Open State Foundation. ‘When politicians turn to social networks to amplify their views, they are inviting greater scrutiny of their expression’.

Earlier this month, 17 rights groups including Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access Now, Sunlight Foundation and others joined in opposition to Twitter’s crackdown on Politwoops and called on the social network to restore Politwoops’ API access.

In less than a week, the open letter published by the group, was endorsed by 50 organizations across five continents, including World Wide Web Foundation, European Federation of Journalists, Derechos Digitales and EDRi. The list also includes Support Information Technology Center (Egypt), Internet Democracy Project (India) and Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (Mexico).

Also a number of politicians have expressed their concerns about cutting off access to Politwoops.

'Accountability is key in democracy, and technology can play a key role in this. Politwoops and others are free to remind me of what I said, and of what I may need to correct’, said Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament. ‘After all, policitians are human beings that can make mistakes.'

The complete list of endorsements of the open letter includes: Access, Alternatif Bilisim (Turkey), American Civil Liberties Union, Art 34-bis (Italy), Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles (Argentina), Asuntos del Sur, Bits of Freedom (Netherlands), Blueprint for Free Speech (Australia), Centro de Derechos Humanos Agustín Pro Juarez (Mexico), Civio Foundation (Spain), Clean Air Action Group (Hungary), Derechos Digitales (Latin America), Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Frontiers Australia, EDRi, European Federation of Journalists, Fight for the Future, Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France), Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines), Free Press, Fundación Ciudadana Civio (Spain), GovTrack.us, Hiperderecho (Peru), Human Rights Watch, IDEA (Switzerland), Innova Política Latam, International Modern Media Institute (Iceland), Internet Democracy Project (India), IPANDETEC (Panama), Iraqi Network for Social Media, Jinbonet (Korea), Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (Netherlands), Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia), OpenMedia (Canada), Open State Foundation, Paradigm Initiative (Nigeria), Pirate Party (Turkey), La Quadrature du Net (France), Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (México), Savvy Systems Design (U.S.), Sunlight Foundation (U.S.), Sursiendo. Comunicación y Cultura Digital (México), Support for Information Technology Center (Egypt), Unwanted Witness (Uganda), Usuarios Digitales (Ecuador), Vrijschrift (Netherlands) and Web Foundation.

Quotes
"Social networks should take into account international norms about transparency and the right to information. When politicians turn to social networks to amplify their views, they are inviting greater scrutiny of their expression." Arjan El Fassed, director Open State Foundation
"Accountability is key in democracy, and technology can play a key role in this. Politwoops and others are free to remind me of what I said, and of what I may need to correct. After all, policitians are human beings that can make mistakes." Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament
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About Open State Foundation

Open State Foundation bevordert digitale transparantie door het ontsluiten van open data en de ontwikkeling van innovatieve en creatieve toepassingen te stimuleren.

Open State Foundation promotes digital transparency by unlocking open data and stimulates the development of innovative and creative applications.

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