This was a pretty good call-out on Twitter for changing out Embedded Tweets work from Kevin Marks.
Twitter has always provided semantic HTML for Embedded Tweets, in the form of a
<blockquote>, then a
<script> to enhance it up into a fancy embed. It exhibited an interesting (and good) behavior: if the Tweet no longer existed, it would fall back to a standard HTML rendering of the
<blockquote>. The change was that it wouldn’t do that anymore, it would always render the fancy embed, only show a “missing tweet” UI, in order to “better respect when people have chosen to delete their Tweets”.
I can understand that perspective, but I can better understand the perspective of a publisher. If I’m putting an Embedded Tweet into an article, it’s there for a reason. It’s there to provide context or perhaps be the content. Suddenly and without warning a bunch of articles now had contextual holes in them because tweets that used to just be showing some HTML of the original text were now showing an empty box.
It’s a trust problem. If we can’t trust that Embedded Tweets say what they say at the time of embedding, then we just won’t do it. We’ll use a
This whole thing will come up again if Tweets become editable. That, too, messes with the public record and absolutely ensures nobody will use Embedded Tweets. The second a major publication puts an Embedded Tweet that is editable in an article: boom, goatse.
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