Twitter Just Shut Down a Website Archiving Users’ Deleted Tweets
After receiving a cease and desist letter from Twitter (TWTR), PostGhost has shut down its website.
The site was meant to serve as an archive of deleted tweets sent out from public figures like politicians, celebrities, and prominent members of the media. TechCrunch writes that PostGhost had launched less than a week ago on July 6, which was the same day it received the cease and desist letter.
The letter stated that archiving Twitter users’ deleted tweets goes against the social media website’s terms of service, and it asked that PostGhost “please stop storing and displaying deleted tweets on your website.” The notice comes soon after Twitter reauthorized a similar website, Politiwoops, to archive deleted tweets from politicians with the express purpose of holding public officials accountable for what they choose to say publicly.
While Politiwoops is known to be managed by the Sunlight Foundation and the Open State Foundation, two non-profits focused on transparency in government, PostGhost was established anonymously. Twitter reached an agreement with Politiwoops, allowing it to post politicians’ deleted tweets.
PostGhost had a similar goal as Politiwoops, though it didn’t limit itself to just political figures. On its website, which now just displays an open letter to Twitter, PostGhost argues that “as Twitter has become a dominant platform of communication, verified users with huge follower bases influence the public dialog as much as elected officials, and should be accountable for their public statements on Twitter just as they are for public statements they make anywhere else.”
PostGhost said that it hadn’t reached out to Twitter to request authorization. “We believe that, since Twitter granted Politwoops permission to publish deleted tweets from politicians in the public interest, the public also has a right to see deleted tweets from the highest profile users,” a spokesperson for the site told Fortune. “These users have a far greater reach than politicians.” Celebrities often voice their opinions on politics and current events. PostGhost argues that, with their large followings, they could have an influence on public discourse.
The archive site still appears to have some hope. It asks those who agree with them to share the open letter and input their email address to “be updated on the status of PostGhost.”