Company directives reinforced privacy policies that were already being criticized for helping Russia meddle in elections.

“Twitter quietly ramped up a campaign last year to permanently delete some user data from its social media platform and the files of commercial firms using it, raising concerns that the policy would help Russian cyberspies suspected of meddling in the 2016 election cover their tracks.

In June and September of 2016, the company posted updates to its privacy policy and user agreements that reminded firms that when anyone deleted or revised tweets — or closed accounts — that all others with access to them would have to destroy any trace of them as well. If they failed to comply, the company warned, they risked being cut off from the Twitter database …”

“There was a ton of research showing that Twitter was the place spreading disinformation, just overwhelmingly manufactured information,” said Woolley, now director of the Silicon Valley-based Digital Intelligence Lab. “Many of us in the [cyber-research] community have made it clear to Twitter that to delete this information would be a travesty. We’ve been having this conversation for over four years” with people at various levels of Twitter, including senior executives.

Read more at Politico: Twitter urged firms to delete data during 2016 campaign