The User Requests
Over on the UK Web Focus blog Liam Green-Hughes requested that it should be possible for users to delete their tweets from the Twapper Keeper archive. Liam (@liamgh) linked to his comment on Twitter which led to a subsequent discussion of some of the issues: @JulietCulver suggested that “surely if you write anything on the internet you have to assume it’ll get archived?” and @sputuk (Nick Sharratt) felt that “opting out of archive tweets would be like demanding the right to insist people don’t remember what you say.what you put in public belongs to the public IMO“. Meanwhile @mhawksey (Martin Hawksey) pointed out the middle ground: “I agree with you [@sputuk] but think @liamgh also has a point. The twiter T&C mean I retain IPR for this tweet. Archive needs optout 4 legal“.
Although Liam’s subsequent comment that he is “Not convinced of need for archiving” doesn’t reflect the growing interest in the Twitter archiving which has been demonstrated by the Library of Congress’s recent announcement that it will archive all tweets, he also felt that the JISC-funded development work should provide “an opportunity to set a good example“. This is a very pertinent point.
We are also aware that the Twapper Keeper service can provide a valuable role in supporting other value-added services. Martin Hawksey has already provided one demonstration of the value of a Twitter archive with his Twitter captioning service which has already been used to provide captions for videos of Gordown Browns Building Britain’s Digital Future Announcement and JISC 10 plenary talks. But as I pointed out in my post on Twitter and the Digital Economy Bill services such as this could be liable to closure if an overzealous interpretation of the Bill was taken. Developers of such services would, no doubt, be reassured if it was possible to delete their own tweets. And such an approach would avoid the absurdities of having to request each individual person who tweets for permission to reuse their tweets!
Our plan is to provide a way for users to formally request that (1) any tweets that we have archived be deleted and (2) opt’out of any future archiving for their user account.
Initially this deletion and filter will be manually setup for each user after they make the request and a automated filter will be established to filter tweets being archived.
If there is a significant number of people requesting this be done, an automated request form will be established (based upon OAuth login credentials of user).
We’d welcome feedback on these plans.