back to article Twitter's API paywall crumbles (but only for those saving lives, predicting weather, etc.)

The paywall around Twitter's API has crumbled slightly, with the bird site U-turning for organizations providing a public service. In a tweet yesterday, the Twitter Dev account said that Twitter's API has long found an important use case in its public utility. With that in mind, "verified gov or publicly owned services who …

  1. abend0c4

    ... and yet again received a poop emoji for our trouble.

    The thing is, verified gov or publicly owned services aren't going to be keen to be associated with that kind of attitude and they're not going to rely on a service that's quite so capricious.

    The art of back-pedalling is to do it before the damage is already done.

  2. aerogems Silver badge

    I'd call it too little too late. Especially with Twitler's latest tantrum threatening to take away NPR's Twitter handle if they don't start tweeting again. Not that they will, but they should just set it up with a bot that auto-replies to every one of Twitler's comments with a poop emoji.

    Twitter is dead platform walking, so you may as well rip the bandaid off now and figure out an alternate means of sending alerts to people than deciding to resume the old system, just for Twitler to change his mind again next week, then reverse it again the week after that. IMO, they should just go back to SMS alerts, or people can download the MTA/BART/Whatever app and get push notifications from that. If they go the app route, they could potentially make a better experience for the user. Such as location based alerts, being alerted to incidents within say a configurable radius from your current location, and also if you use the app to plan a trip it can alert you if there are any service alerts along that route. Let the man-baby throw his little tantrums and get on with the serious business of running commuter services.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Yep once Bluesky moves out of its invitation only beta and is opened up to the world, I think Twitter is going to bleed tens of millions of users to it in record time.

  3. katrinab Silver badge

    Set up some Mastodon instances

    They could set up a Mastodon instance under a .gov domain, and toot their alerts from that instead. The EU government has already done that at

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The show Musk go on.

    The myth that Twitter was a vital irreplaceable part of the US, Western, and even global culture was just waiting to be laid bare. In my opinion, it was long overdue. That Elon should do it in such a self-immolatory manner, like turning the flamethrower on himself, or sitting atop an exploding rocket, more that satisfies the requirement, far exceeding anybodies wildest dreams. So thank you. I'm looking forward to the bankruptcy, and all your big bucks backing believers learning a lesson about the giant sinkhole that social media is. Maybe it will encourage more investment in vehicles that actually contribute to the GDP - god and private-capital willing even manufactured exports.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: The show Musk go on.

      Why choose? Can't he turn a flame thrower on himself while riding an exploding rocket? The man is a self-proclaimed genius after all! Not a stable one, but then stable things don't tend to explode, now do they?

      1. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: The show Musk go on.

        I look forward to Musk's Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.

        1. aerogems Silver badge

          Re: The show Musk go on.

          It's been going on since he was forced into buying Twitter. You may not think 6-7 months is rapid, but destroying a multi-billion dollar company and torching your credibility and reputation in that short a period of time is pretty rapid.

          1. MrDamage Silver badge

            Re: The show Musk go on.

            I disagree. What we've been seeing are the tectonic rumbles leading up to the cataclysmic seismic shift. The BANG!is yet to happen.

    2. Evil Scot

      Re: The show Musk go on.

      Empty faces.

      What are we living for?

      Abandoned places,

      I guess we know the score...

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Not rocket science

    Twitter's one irreplaceable feature was surviving the will of advertisers, celebrities, average people, trolls, politicians, and hostile governments. Musk destroyed all of that as priority work. Now Twitter has no reason to exist.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Reason to exist

      Of course there is as reason. Musk's lawyers told us ages ago: "Twitter is a home to invective and hyperbole." The other half of the quote is telling too: "No reasonable person would consider Twitter a source of factual information." So now you know what sort of post and what sort of reader Twitter exists to service. Do you really think Musk's lawyers would lie in court?

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: Reason to exist

        OK, I wish to revise my earlier comment about how NPR should respond to every Twitler post with a poop emoji. It should be a quote from one of the defamation lawsuits where Twitler used the defense that no one should take his tweets about anything seriously.

    2. Boozearmada

      Re: Not rocket science

      it was a left wing echo chamber

  6. CowHorseFrog

    When will people just admit that advertising is bullshit and making it a crime.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Advertising can be useful. If a company doesn't advertise it's products, how does anyone ever learn that they exist? If Company X has 500 open jobs, but never advertises that they're hiring, how do they expect to fill them? Especially if people don't advertise they're looking. What people tend to get annoyed with is advertising for things they don't care about. I don't give a toss about some new accessory kit for Barbie, for example, so seeing a bunch of ads for Barbie stuff would annoy me. But since I happen to be vaguely in the market for a new computer desk, I wouldn't mind seeing deals about those.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        I have to say, I don't buy a lot of things for myself, relative to many other people I know; but I have purchased a number of things (books, mostly; a couple of games; some tools; the belt I'm wearing now) based on having seem them advertised and been very pleased at the result. Certainly I've discovered books which I've reread multiple times from advertisements, and there's no plausible way I would have been exposed to most of them otherwise.

        I reluctantly confess that Amazon's targeted advertising on my original Kindle – one of the classic keyboard ones, which I got shortly before they were discontinued, at the "Kindle with special offers [we mean ads]" price – was by far the most effective contributor to this. I don't like Amazon, but I have probably a couple dozen delightful novels because they occasionally hit one out of the park with their recommendations. (I won't bother with specifics because tastes vary widely, which is why although I also enjoy book reviews from certain people – Jo Walton's, for example – they've been less useful at identifying things I'll likely want to read and which I haven't already.)

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    Like a child

    He just makes and remakes the rules as he goes along.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Like a child

      He just makes and remakes the rules as he goes along.

      And no taking back, except for Elon.

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Actions -> consequences

    X.Org has had enough and switched from a bird to a huge mammal. I bet someone will throw a tantrum about missing that domain name.

    1. aerogems Silver badge

      Re: Actions -> consequences

      I'm sure he'll be happy to swipe their old Twitter handle. Just like he did to the person who had @e.

  9. trevorde Silver badge

    Big question here

    How are there enough devs left to fiddle with the API, let alone put out the other dumpster fires?

    1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Big question here

      Because most of the people who worked there didn't actually "work"!

      It's the same at other Big Tech companies. Like the recruiter at Meta (Facebook) making a 6 figure salary for 2 years who never actually did any work.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Useful information

    It strikes me that using Twitter for things that are actually useful (e.g. weather warnings) is not a great idea. It just gets lost in the massive cess pit. What someone should come up with is a way of publishing, maybe even syndicating information. Ideally one that is really simple so that people can get updates for things they want to know..

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Useful information

      What a good idea. Such a shame nothing like that exists. Maybe Google should provide something to help the reader.

      [If you can't spot the sarcasm from over the horizon I'm not laying it on thick enough.]

  11. Electric Panda

    You also now can't even search Twitter without being logged in.

    So, that's me officially done with it.

  12. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Too bad for BART

    If I'm concerned about why my train is late or would like to find out if there are delays on a transportation system, I go to that system's web site, not Twitter. Any entity relying on any social media site to release important information needs a good ding about the ear. It's like government entities mandating that information is submitted in M$ Word format when many people can't afford to legally purchase a copy of Office and don't need it outside of the one or two things they need to submit to this agency.

    Overload was one of the reasons I got rid of Twitter. Following more than a few other people just lead to a feed that could take an hour a couple of times each day to parse for the odd pearl.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Too bad for BART


      That assumes the website has useful information.

      For "local" trains I can get that info from the website (which is useful / helpful) or an app.

      My "local" bus company however posts info on delays etc. to FB & Twitter, *NOT* to the website! (not useful / helpful for social media avoiders such as myself) and does not have an app.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Too bad for BART

        "My "local" bus company however posts info on delays etc. to FB & Twitter, *NOT* to the website! "

        There's the problem. If the bus company is publicly funded, why shouldn't they also need to have a website that has news? FB is a walled garden and a nasty one full of nothing but weeds and Twitter has recently become very unstable as Elon thrashes around trying to figure out how to make a go of it.

  13. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    I feel like

    I'm surfing ahead of the world here. All these apps, I have always refused to use them. If I can't do it on a browser I don't bother. The whole rest of the world see it, embraces it, can't live without it, it screws the pooch, everyone gets pissed at it, it crashes, then the next thing comes along. I see it and say it'll never catch on, it runs for a while, then disappears. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it doesn't, but I've got a near 100 percent track record. And all I do is say, nope, not doing it.

    Texting and smart phones are the ones I was wrong about. I figured both would have disappeared by now, but now even I use them.

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