A group calling itself the Open State Foundation reports that Twitter has denied API access for all of the accounts the Open State Foundation operates which track the deleted tweets of politicians and diplomats. They report that Twitter made the decision after a thoughtful internal discussion because:
"Imagine how nerve-racking – terrifying, even – tweeting would be if it was immutable and irrevocable? No one user is more deserving of that ability than another. Indeed, deleting a tweet is an expression of the user’s voice."
Indeed imagine a world where messages broadcasted publicly could be recorded. A world where screen shots and web archiving tools can preserve the content of broadcasted messages indefinitely, and where comparing the publication medium to an archived record can reveal otherwise unannounced retractions. In short imagine the real world as it actually is.
Twitter though appears to be marketing to someone a fantasy world where it is the sole registrar of utterances on its platform even though Twitter at the same time leaves its platform open as a public broadcast medium. Twitter is denying this charity the easy tool it could use to provide its actually valuable public service even though it is absolutely powerless to stop them or anyone else from doing this same thing through other freely available tools like
Social media ventures have a special kind of arrogance when it comes to censorship. Reddit was all for providing a platform for free speech until it wasn't. Now Twitter has prioritized their preference for helping politicians and public figures to self censor by making the act of recording and tracking these acts of censorship just a little bit harder.