VERIFY: Will the National Weather Service lose the ability to auto-publish some tweets?

April 25, 2023


During severe weather, real-time information can save your life. But the National Weather Service says you might not get that info because of a new Twitter policy.

Before last weekend’s storm, the National Weather Service’s Baltimore-Washington office sent this tweet saying that because of a new Twitter policy, automated tweets that show advisories, watches, and warnings might not load.

And several other NWS offices have posted similar messages in the last few weeks.

Twitter announced in March that it would limit access to its API, which allowed developers to do things such as make bot accounts and schedule automated posts. It planned to limit them to roughly 50 automated posts a day unless they pay for premium access, and the change will be complete by this Saturday...

Rebekah Tromble leads the Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics at George Washington University. The institute signed onto a letter calling on Twitter to keep its API accessible for academics, journalists, and users at large to promote research, as well as accountability and transparency within Twitter. She agreed that the new policy may harm the National Weather Service.

"Twitter's previous policies allowed accounts like the National Weather Service to automate alert notifications posted on the platform," she said via email. "That meant Twitter users could easily and nearly instantaneously receive important breaking information and alerts. Twitter's new policies place dramatic restrictions on the number of posts that can be shared automatically. If the NWS or other emergency services need to post a large number of alerts in a short period of time, they may simply hit the Twitter limit, and users won't receive any more vital breaking information.

Read the full article on WUSA 9's website.