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Free Expression

CDT Joins Coalition for Independent Technology Research Calling on Twitter to Maintain API Access for Researchers

For many years, Twitter has led the field in enabling systematic access to public data on its service via its application programming interface (API). Independent researchers, journalists, civil society organizations, and many others have used this API access to advance our understanding of the online information environment — and have called on other social media services to provide similar access.

Twitter’s recent announcement that it will cut off free access to its API will render Twitter a much more opaque service and will jeopardize independent investigation into crucial questions about the spread of disinformation, hate, and harassment online.

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) joins other members of the Coalition for Independent Technology Research in calling on Twitter to reverse this misguided decision and to ensure that APIs for studying public content on Twitter remain easily accessible for journalists, academics, and civil society.

Read the full letter + list of signatories.