An example of the blank box that’s now shown.
Screenshot: Twitter

There is a change to how deleted tweets are shown on third-party websites. The social media network has started showing a blank box on external sites when an embedded tweet has been deleted. Kevin Marks wrote a post about the change.

It's a big change from the way it used to handle deleted-yet- embedded messages. With the recent change, the text is gone, leaving a hole in the story.

How deleted embedded tweets used to display.
Screenshot: Web Archive
How they display now.
Screenshot: The Verge

The change was made to better respect people who have decided to remove their accounts from the service.

Donald Trump's account was suspended in early 2021. It means that hundreds of articles that embedded Trump's posts no longer work, in a classic case of link rot.

Twitter’s explanation for the change.

This doesn't mean that Trump's social media is gone forever. Since his suspension from the platform third-party archives have emerged to catalog his posts, and other services exist to track deleted tweets from public officials. The news stories written about them are harder to view because of the change in the way they are written.

Marks noted that the embedded Javascript is being used to blank out the tweets. You can change the settings in your browser to see the original text.

It's odd that a change of this magnitude wouldn't have any warning. The change seems to have been rolled out before the support documents were updated. The story will be updated with any response from the social network.

Just hours after the company announced it was working on an edit button for the service, it was revealed that it was also changing the embedded deleted tweets. Users are concerned that they will be able to change statements that are important to the public record.