Twitter CEO: We are committed to transparency projects

Twitter CEO: We are committed to transparency projects
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Twitter’s CEO renewed the company’s commitment on Wednesday to support transparency projects like Politwoops, the service for archiving politician’s deleted tweets that Twitter shut down earlier this year.

Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who was recently named its new permanent CEO, said that the platform had “a responsibility to continue to empower organizations that bring more transparency to public dialogue such as organizations like Politwoops.”

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“We need to make sure that we’re serving all of those organizations and all of our developers in the best way because that is what is going to make Twitter great,” he said during a speech at the Twitter Flight Developer Conference.

Dorsey’s comments were placed amid a broader discussion of how Twitter should promote a free exchange of ideas and positions.

“Twitter stands for freedom of expression, and we will not rest until that’s recognized as a global, fundamental, human right,” he said. “Twitter stands for speaking truth to power, and we see this every single day around the world. Most recently, with the community and hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.”

In June, Twitter unexpectedly revoked Politwoops’ access to its application programming interface (API), which outside developers use to connect their own software to the social network’s data, prompting anger from transparency advocates. They later did the same for international versions of the project.

Before it was shut down, Politwoops archived and highlighted the tweets deleted by politicians. Twitter said that its access was revoked because preserving data from the platform after it was deleted violated the agreement developers must assent to when getting access to the API. They also said the project violated user privacy.

Twitter and the Sunlight Foundation, which ran the project, had previously wrangled over Politwoops’ place on the social network, and Sunlight started reviewing all the tweets it posted to the website.

A spokesperson for the Sunlight Foundation said that the organization’s access to Twitter’s platform had not been reinstated, but that Dorsey’s comments simply opened the door for new discussion between the two organizations.

“We look forward to rebooting the dialogue with Twitter about how it can play an active role in promoting openness and transparency around the world,” said Chris Gates, the foundation’s president, in a statement. “The stakes are high as the 2016 election approaches and this issue has never been more important.”