GW Professor Condemns Decision to End Free Access to Twitter API

February 7, 2023

Rebekah Tromble

Beginning on Thursday, Twitter will begin charging a fee to access the platform’s application programming interface (API). The move was met with a global wave of criticism, prompting more than 500 individuals and organizations to sign a letter denouncing the decision. They fear that ending free access to Twitter’s API will cause undue harm to research efforts benefitting the public at large.  

Rebekah Tromble, an associate professor of media and public affairs and director of the George Washington University Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics, is one of several GW faculty and staff members who signed the letter. Dr. Tromble is highly concerned about the civic, academic, and legal ramifications of Twitter’s decision.

"Twitter's announcement that it will restrict access to its API threatens to cut off thousands of vital public-interest research, reporting, and civil society projects around the world.

The announcement also places Twitter afoul of its legal commitments and obligations in Europe, with potentially serious consequences for the company under the European Union's new Digital Services Act." 

To schedule an interview with Dr. Tromble, please contact GW Media Relations at [email protected].