Twitter change to embedded tweets leaves holes in websites

Twitter has made a change that will have a major impact on embedded tweets.

As reported by The Verge, since the end of March, the company has begun to show a blank box on websites when an embedded tweet has been deleted. It’s a major change as, previously, Twitter would at least preserve the unformatted text in the embed. That is now no longer the case.

The effect will be that, any website that embedded a tweet that has been deleted, no matter how long ago, will now show a blank box with the Twitter logo.

According to Twitter senior product manager Eleanor Harding, the change was made “to better respect when people have chosen to delete their tweets.” But it also impacts any tweets that have been removed for other reasons, like when the account that posted them has been suspended.

The biggest example here is the account of former US President Donald Trump, whose account was suspended in early 2021. It means that hundreds of articles that embedded Trump’s posts (including from The Verge and Vox) no longer work, in a classic case of “link rot.”

The news about embedded tweets comes a day after the company announced it is actually working on an edit button. According to the company, the feature will be rolled out for testing for Twitter Blue subscribers later this year.

It’s currently unclear exactly how the feature will work (for example, if the history of a tweet’s edits will be saved and accessible).

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