Holding public officials accountable with Twitter and Politwoops

By Colin Crowell
Thursday, 31 December 2015

At our Flight conference in October, our CEO Jack Dorsey spoke about Twitter’s responsibilities to developers and users in the areas of government transparency:

“We have a responsibility to communicate our roadmap in a clear and transparent way to everyone in this community. We have a responsibility to have an open dialogue with you to make sure we are serving you in the best way. We have a responsibility to continue to empower organizations that bring more transparency to public dialogue, such as Politwoops. We need to make sure we are serving all these organizations and developers in the best way, because that is what will make Twitter great. We need to listen, we need to learn, and we need to have this conversation with you. We want to start that today.”

Today we’re pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement with The Sunlight Foundation and The Open State Foundation around Politwoops.

  • “Politwoops is an important tool for holding our public officials, including candidates and elected or appointed public officials, accountable for the statements they make, and we’re glad that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with Twitter to bring it back online both in the US and internationally.” —Jenn Topper, communications director for The Sunlight Foundation
  • “This agreement is great news for those who believe that the world needs more transparency. Our next step is now to continue and expand our work to enable the public to hold public officials accountable for their public statements.” —Arjan El Fassed, director of Open State Foundation, that launched Politwoops in more than 30 countries since 2010.
  • “In many parts of the world Twitter is a central component of the public record. Re-establishing a mechanism to record, store and publish deleted tweets of politicians and public officials further demonstrates Twitter’s commitment to transparency and political accountability. As Twitter becomes a more important platform for political discourse, it is essential that politicians and public official’s tweets remain online and accessible to the general public. This announcement is an important step forward.” —Brett Solomon, executive director of the global digital rights organization Access Now

We look forward to continuing our work with these important organizations, and using Twitter to bring more transparency to public dialogue.