This is definitely worth checking if you use tweet embeds on your site.
As part of a recent update, Twitter has altered the way that deleted tweets appear when embedded on third party sites, with removed content now showing up like this on your pages:
Previously, deleted tweet content would show up like this, with the text still visible, but the tweet formatting removed.
As explained by Marks:
“Until recently, if the tweet or account had been deleted, then Twitter would leave the blockquote alone, so the embedded text would still show, but without Twitter’s validation. [Now, deleted embeds don’t] show as a blockquote fallback, but as an empty white blob.”
Essentially, you used to be able to get the context of the embedded tweet, even if it had been removed, but now, you get nothing, just gaps like this within your posts.
Which could significantly lessen the impact of your content, as without those quote tweets, it may be difficult for readers to follow along, and with no way to glean any insight as to what the tweet even was, that could be problematic.
Twitter’s Eleanor Harding explained the change, noting that Twitter’s looking to ‘better respect when people have chosen to delete their Tweets’.
“Very soon it'll have better messaging that explains why the content is no longer available.”
So Twitter’s not done updating the format yet, and other improvements could be in the works which could make it a more palatable change. But still, it could be an issue for many sites and blogs across the web.
It’s not the first time Twitter has messed with its embeds, causing headaches for web designers everywhere. Back in 2020, Twitter updated the look of tweet embeds, which re-aligned some pages, while last year, it retired its Likes, Collections and Moments embeddable timelines due to lack of usage.
Of course, Twitter also needs to move with the times, and make changes as it deems relevant – so there will always be a level of change required for such elements. But still, updates like this can complicate matters, both from a general formatting and factual reporting standpoint, which may have flow-on effects.
The bottom line is that you might want to check your embeds, and you might also want to consider using screenshots for tweets in future, to safeguard from similar changes.
Ideally, you want to link back to the actual source tweet, as that’s the actual message that was shared, which reiterates the factual nature of the content. But if you have to screenshot and link, that could be a way around such in future, which also protects against any other tweaks.
UPDATE (4/11): Twitter has reversed its decision on this change - more here.