Twitter issued tweet archiving site PostGhost with a cease and desist order, which should come as a relief to celebrities and politicians the world over.
The site archived the tweets of accounts with large followings, so that even if they deleted a tweet it would be saved. PostGhost said, “We believe that for such prominent verified Twitter users, the public has a right to see their public Twitter history, whether or not they grow to regret the statements they’ve made.”
Twitter recently contacted those behind the site, threatening that it would shut down its API access as it is violating its Developer Agreement and Policy. PostGhost issued a response and said that it is shutting down the site.
It added, “We created the website postghost.com to provide the public with a more accurate history of public statements made by the most influential public figures on Twitter.” It highlighted a site that does similar, Politwoops, which publishes deleted tweets from a list of known politicians, adding that Twitter has given it the go-ahead to publish certain deleted tweets.
However, PostGhost raised the issue of Brexit, which had notable people like J.K. Rowling (7.6m followers) and Lindsay Lohan (9.3m followers) weighing in with opinions. Some of their tweets were quickly deleted, though only after reaching several million followers. PostGhost wrote, “In a referendum decided by just over 1 million votes, the ability to reach millions of followers instantly and leave no trace is a massive and growing power, and one that is currently completely unchecked and undocumented.”
PostGhost concluded its post with a statement to Twitter that it’s happy to continue a dialog and hopefully find a resolution that maintains user privacy while holding public figures accountable.