Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Twitter Media Datacide

Tom Coates (Hacker News):

Twitter has now removed all media posted before 2014. That’s - so far - almost a decade of pictures and videos from the early 2000s removed from the service.


This is what Twitter pre-2014 looks like - every image and video removed and replaced with a dead link.

It’s unclear whether this is intentional or a bug, and some images seem to be back now, though most are gone.


Specifically, it looks like they’ve broken any http links to t.co, while the newer https ones still work. The practical effect of this is actually worse than the thread stated -- all old media and links on Twitter are broken (at least, since 2010 when they started using t.co). But perhaps they can fix it by restoring the http version of t.co?


Update (2023-08-23): Richard Lawler:

Now the @Support account at X, the company formerly known as Twitter until Elon Musk rebranded it, says, “Over the weekend we had a bug that prevented us from displaying images from before 2014. No images or data were lost. We fixed the bug, and the issue will be fully resolved in the coming days.”

Some images are back, but many are still missing.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Which ones are deleted exactly? I've gone back in my account and all images and t.co links are working properly.

@Brad At the time I wrote this, almost all of them were missing from the half dozen accounts I tested.

So a bug then. Quelle surprise.

Unsurprisingly (but amusingly), one of the still-broken tweets appears to be the one used in the documentation for embedding tweets in your content.

Specifically, the one in the section on controlling the visibility of media. 🤦‍♂️


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