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San Francisco/New Delhi: Developers and the Open Internet Communities have criticized a Twitter change that is removing embedded deleted tweets available in third-party websites from the public domain. Previously, a deleted tweet embedded in a web page would still display the text content of a tweet.

As TechCrunch reports, that text is now showing only a blank box, causing concern to the open web community as it amounts to “tampering with public records”. IndieWeb developer and former Google Developer Advocate Kevin Marks said that “with all the fuss about Twitter’s promised edit button, and how they might design it, we’re missing a troubling development because “Twitter is the other is using your embedded JavaScript to edit people’s sites”.

According to him, Twitter is replacing web pages with deleted tweets by hiding the text with JavaScript. Marx cited former US President Donald Trump’s since-deleted tweets as an example of material in the public interest that should remain available. Until recently, if the tweet or account had been deleted, Twitter would “leave the blockquote alone, so the embedded text was still visible, but without Twitter’s verification”.

“This was by design, so that function of citation would still work,” Mark said in a blog. Twitter’s senior product manager Eleanor Harding responded to Maersk, saying Twitter was seeking “better respect when people have chosen to delete their tweets” with the change. “Very soon it will have a better message that explains why the content is no longer available,” she replied in a tweet.

According to Andy Bao, who created virtual event platform Skeetish, the Twitter change is “a big problem to preserve the historical record”. Twitter has announced that it is working to allow users to edit their tweets after posting to fix typos and errors. The micro-blogging platform said that Twitter plans to begin testing the feature with Twitter Blue customers in the “coming months”.

The news came after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk bought a 9.2 percent stake in the company for $3 billion.

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