Twitter reverses change that turned embeds of deleted tweets into blank boxes

The company says it's exploring "different options."

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Igor Bonifacic
April 9, 2022 10:01 PM
In this article: news, gear, Twitter, internet, web, social media
BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 10: In this photo illustration the logo of Twitter can be seen on a smartphone on March 10, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

Twitter has temporarily walked back a controversial change that made it difficult for people to preserve deleted tweets. On Wednesday, writer Kevin Marks pointed out that the company had recently tweaked its embedded javascript so that the text of deleted tweets was no longer visible in embeds on third-party websites.

By late Friday evening, however, one Twitter user noticed the company had reverted the change, with Twitter confirming the move one day later. “After considering the feedback we heard, we’re rolling back this change for now while we explore different options,” a spokesperson for the company told The Verge. “We appreciate those who shared their points of view — your feedback helps us make Twitter better.”

When the initial change was first spotted, Twitter product manager Eleanor Harding said the company made the tweak to “better respect” people who decide to delete their tweets. Part of what made the move problematic for many was that it simply left a blank space where the embed of a deleted tweet had been previously. Harding said Twitter was planning to roll out additional messaging that would explain why a tweet was no longer visible.

Twitter didn’t elaborate on the “different options” it was exploring following its reversal. For many, the decision to change how embeds work was a strange one. When Twitter first introduced embedding in 2011, it said it intentionally wanted to maintain the text of deleted tweets. And for many years afterward, company executives, including former CEO Jack Dorsey, stressed the role of the platform as a kind of “public record.”

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